Culture & Society

A Poem On The Shameless Spoils Of Havoc

The poem depicts a cold-blooded act of human avarice in the aftermath of a riot.

A Poem On The Shameless Spoils Of Havoc


After yesterday’s riots wreaked havoc in town

Two policemen were scavenging the ruins of a charred house

In the two hours of ravaging, they had managed to put together a silver frame,

An ivory case and some gramophone discs.

Disappointed, they were about to leave

When they glimpsed a soft, red glow under a fallen girder

They heaved the beam across and nearly jumped back, amazed

It was the body of a newly married woman. Looked like she’d been crushed.

The thick gold bangles on her forearms stunned them even more

The young cop tried his best to wrest the bangles over his wrists,

But couldn’t slip them through the bloated joints.

He looked back at his senior in frustration.

The older cop held her elbow and palm in each hand.

Carefully placing the forearm over his knee, he snapped it into two.

Later, while slipping the bangles off, he looked at his junior, smiled and said

“Rigor mortis has set in.”