The Assassination of Indira Gandhi

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In Kitchener, Hallowe'en frost chokes roses,The spruce gangrene, and haystacks flame in fieldsWhere Mennonites preach black, scorched-earth gospels.Children, invented for death, slouch to school.Mourning editors inter last night's remains:"Paying the fine of worldly existence,Mrs. Gandhi died, freed in her rose garden."I dream only the brown mother droppingAmong roses, azaleas, bullet casings,The dark harvest of scarlet Amritsar,The Golden Temple crimsoned by her troops. Now, the pitched heavens smell of orange blossoms,Petrol, for her body fuses flowersAnd fire, and chars to incense for Shiva,Buddha, Allah, all the incensed gods,And New Delhi burns with skin of savaged SikhsAnd bone-white stars flung across tar-pit skies.Gandhi's been mangled by History's claws;But now, being scent, she's freed by windAnd waves to waft far from this wet, red worldWhere many weep and gnash their teeth and smashTheir neighbours' brains with rocks or clubs.

© Clarke George Elliott