Before Hunting for Birds

Kamal Chowdhury

Before hunting for birds, don’t forget
I also need wings.
At your gun-powder scent, the warmth slides from feathers.
On strange days, searching for leaves lost by
the trees, I too lament.

On these fractured days,
our village draws its shutters and sits.
From time to time, across the silent market, like an
inconsolable child, dust flies.
Still, the husbands, sniffing for moonshine
raise a great ruckus and send the women to bring wood from the forest.

Fallen leaves return with the lyrics of dead birds.
They return with the eyes of scared Robins.

Each time I read the language of those eyes
I scream.
Every time, I feel the urge to throttle,
oh hunter, your gun.

Translated by Pushpita Alam

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