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This poem is taken from PN Review 250, Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019.

Two Poems Sujata Bhatt
A Neutral Country

He just wanted to step out
for a walk – some fresh air
to clear his head – and on the way back
he told his wife, he’d get some milk and eggs.
But he found dead bodies in front of his door,
five dead bodies, all young, all so young,
he repeats. It will take him a long time
to recover from this.
Now he prefers to stay at home.


One day a letter arrives,
an invitation, we accept –
We agree to visit a neutral country.

We cross rivers and valleys and mountains.
It is a quiet journey.
A strange brightness surrounds us.


Over here the air smells of cheese.

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