Partition (1947)

by Brandon Marlon

Indigenes of the diamond-shaped subcontinent
oft invaded and subjugated by imperialists
of various tongues and pigments
had their fill of uniformed overlords
unaware of the depth and breadth
of civilization obtaining in their green-brown
land of abundant temples and innumerable gods.

By the banks of the Indus and Ganges
they laved and readied to welcome
dignity’s midnight hour rapidly drawing nigh,
bracing themselves for a population
counterchange numbering in the millions,
an unheard-of farrago of migration
riving a race per religious differences,
intended as a divorce before marriage.

Prudent though it may have once seemed,
the double cross-border flight proved
acrimonious in the extreme, replete
with massacres and carnage galore,
mass abuses, abductions, and conversions,
whole villages aflame, humanity disfigured
in a bloodbath drenching generations.

In no way did the horrific cataclysm
resemble the mingling of two oceans
foreseen aforetime by enlightened souls;
neither was it the first time polarized kinfolk
had been upswept in a vortex of stoked
hatred destined to attain mythic status.

Antipathy’s remnants can yet be intuited
in sectarian tensions periodically ignited,
though there are those even in Punjab
and Bengal who would fain see furies
at long last put to rest and restive
stalwarts yield to familial healing.


Partition (1947)

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