Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty
Winter 2012
 
Memsahib Memoir
Julie Tepper Standig

Inhaled the scent
of camel dung
as Bhutto dangled
from Pindi’s prison.
Soldiers praying—machine
guns out of reach.
Could have taken them out
while walking the dog.

Ceiling fans couldn’t
cut this heat. The Indus
was no longer moving.
Sinful nights confined to
screened porch, red
and yellow chapatti-
clothed walls, rattan
room smothered
by wicker.

Sifted-for-maggot grain,
vinegared wine,
expired Major Grey’s chutney,
awaited my arrival.
Were they leftover
like the local cat?

American Embassy burnt down.
One dead marine.
My first trip after the baby?
Ahmed’s egg farm
behind a mustard field
always in bloom.
Dried burgundy blood
caked on still warm shell.
Bloody eggs looked beautiful.

Tarbela towered over
the crystal clean Indus
and I crocheted baby sweaters for Bri.

Julie Tepper Standig

Previous Poem