“Cluster Bombs Have a Quirk” by Jayanthi Rangan

Jayanthi Rangan


The collection doesn’t explode
All at once: some bomblets
Lurk and layer
Cyanide on grief
First     my 1996 Hyundai was snagged
Then my routine tension set in—
Of stretching the dollar like a snake’s jaw
Till the next pay check
My six-year-old hiccupped his snotty life
Through his heaving T-shirt
His best friend had found a new best friend
At Lexington Center I waited for the walk sign
When the sign blinked     I did too
Rooted     I heard the traffic roar
And the water table of my eyes
Vaguely saw a stranger
Who walked past and then came back—
“May I give you a hug?”
I nodded and he gave—
A tourniquet for my disturbed mind
An eye for the walk-sign

from Poets Respond
July 16 2023


Jayanthi Rangan: “The news of cluster bombs is an international concern. There is worldwide criticism of their donation from USA to Ukraine. Mainly, their lurking presence, long after the drop date, is worrisome. I feel it’s a metaphor for our daily lives where the innocent daily doses of grief turns into a storm.” (web)

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