March 19, 2020

“The Woman of Kutch,” Poetry by Jonathan Lloyd

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“The Woman of Kutch,” Poetry by Jonathan Lloyd
The Woman of Kutch 
 
The woman of Kutch, 
Living in grasslands 
Favored by raj 
And ibis, flees  
The earthquake and 
Monsoon that leveled 
The Gujarat 
Three or four  
Thousand years ago. 
 
For this occasion 
She wears a dress 
Embroidered in red 
And yellow cotton 
An aba covers 
The sakral which 
Begins the stem  
Of a sunflower rising  
To a shower  
Of light, all in 
Mirrors, surrounded  
By grassy fields. 
 
She carries three 
Steel pots of water 
On her head and  
With her left arm 
She caresses another. 
With her right arm  
She shields her eyes  
Against the sun, 
Into which she races. 
 

**

At  the Track 

She crosses her legs, this girl of twelve, her hat 
A crown, brim bouncing in a breeze. She reads 
Her book, maybe--maybe not--lost in thought 
Or reverie, a boy perhaps, or ice cream, or song. 
The horses run around the track, the shouts 
From others, the cheers for cash, the sweat and scent 
Of animals...she wets her finger and turns  
A page. The blood in her left foot is kissed, 
Amidst cries and hoots and hooves, a tickle 
From a mosquito, the boy beside, the itch. 

**

The Truth About My Underwear 
 
I picture myself 
As you are doing right now... 
Standing half-naked  
Clothed with but a brief... 
Brief, then leaping off the stage taking myself 
Hostage. Me, holding me hostage.  
So I think to myself,  
Don't make any sudden moves. 
You're in your underwear. 
 
I set the demands: 
A mil in unmarked bills; 
A bus with Wi-Fi and streaming subscription; 
And pizza: tomato with feta. No anchovy. 
No anchovy or else. 
 
No one gets hurt unless  
You scream real loud 
Or someone faints and I have to call 911. 
Or anchovies. 
 
If there're anchovies, or screaming fits-- 
The underwear comes off.  
The underwear. Comes. Off.  
 
And we know the truth. 
And you know very well what they say: 
No one ever forgets the truth. 

***

About Jonathan Lloyd: “A pharmacist by trade, I tend to sip my coffee in iambic pentameter, probably while re-reading mycopy of Don Quixote. My poetry has appeared in “Up the River,” and Andwerve Literary Magazine.” This is his first feature on The Fictional Café.


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#horse track#india#poetry#whimsical
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