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The Right Queue


Photo courtesy of Global Sri Lankan

Poems are waiting in a queue. But that is alright.

They are poems only, not people lining up for

kerosene, or fish, or paper. or petrol. I write them

in a hurry, focusing eye and ear, grateful I have

these organs still. I am listening to wind blowing

over Galle Face Green, on the ground where tents

of Gotagogama once stood. Memory is fickle,

fading. Was this where the library passed out

books, or you lined up for medicine at the first aid tent,

or food in the communal kitchen? I am travelling

there in mind with a tour group. On July 9th

Aragalaya turned the nation away from the precipice,

and plans were hatched on this patch of grass,

in all-night sessions, calls for protests, for

the people to rise and reclaim their rights

and nation. The dictator fled. Now Emergency

rules and the Prevention of Terrorism Act must

be thrown into the dustbin. We have to walk

again under laws we can trust, that apply

to everybody equally. These are not vain

or utopian ideas. We can get this done.

The spirit of Aragalaya has travelled from

this green beside the sea through the country

and the world. Ordinary people everywhere

are dreaming of people power, of exercising

sovereign rights, of getting poems into

the queue and not dying any more

waiting for kerosene.



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