Tabish Khair

(1966 - / Gaya / India)

The Soldier Home From Iraq - Poem by Tabish Khair

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What could I do being what I was:
Saviour of old women, their killer too.
On my chest there sat a big dog;
Trained to get answers, move it, jump jump jump,
I picked up my M16A2 and shot her.
There she lay. There they lay.

Back home I was rich like anyone else,
Princesses clutched my dog hairs
In fantasy, in ecstasy.
Later we slept.

I had my will
Until

The shades of a prison-house closed upon me
And I remembered I had forgotten
Something.
It eludes me still.
Was it a candle, a wick, a tinderbox?
Something to do with light surely.
Something that would have set me free.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 26, 2012



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