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Tuesday, May 04, 2021


by Janet Leahy

A mass cremation of victims who died due to Covid-19 is seen at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, India, April 22, 2021. (Reuters)

Smoke billows from the crematoriums,
the assembly line of corpses winds
through the streets of Mumbai
—once this was a route for the pearl trade.

The assembly line of corpses
taxies, trucks, bicycles,
—on the long ago route for the pearl trade.
Today the sky leaden with ash.

Taxies, trucks, bicycles
carry the dying, carry the dead
sky leaden with ash
tanks of oxygen spent.

They carry the dying, the dead
through the streets of Mumbai
tanks of oxygen spent
smoke billows from crematoriums.

Janet Leahy is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. She works with writers in the greater Milwaukee— Waukesha area. Her poetry appears in Midwest Prairie Review, Halfway to the North Pole, Art in so Many Words,  The Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar, and others. She has published two collections of poetry.