The Hand Of A Jew - Poem by Sayeed Abubakar
Thinking him a man, I stretched out
my right hand towards him.
No sooner had I kept my hand on his hand
than it got wet with a horrid smell.
I washed my hand many times with ashes
and with sweet-smelling soaps.
I went bathing many times in the Ganges
and in all the oceans.
Even I bathed my whole body
with sacredness, hatred and love.
Yet that horrid smell has not vanished at all
from my right hand and from my whole body.
Now I think over that hand-
Alas! Was it the hand of a fox scratching corpses?
Or was it the hand of a vulture or of a hyena?
[[Translation of Bangla poem 'Ehudir Hat' taken from the poet's first book 'Pronoyer Prothom Pap' (1996) ]
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