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Kunwar Narain, from No Other World: Selected Poems

If I Return This Time

If I return this time
I will return better

Not with a whisker
spiked on my face
Not with a steel-tail
tied to my waist
No, I will give way to the co-farer
not glower at him
with the tiger eyes of a predator

If I return this time
I will return more humane

coming from home
walking a lane
boarding a bus
catching a train
not a measly animal
run-over here and there

If I do survive
I will return more beholden

If I return this time

not more scarred
but more caring for all
I will return more complete.