Two Sides

He was focussed so fully on
Zigzagging his aging Splendour,
Charting a minesweeper route
Through drying cow dung cakes,
That he was fully blindsided when
The black boar crashed into him.

He fell to the left, bike on leg,
And a crunch reached the rooftops
Between screams of a shocked engine.
The boar, lying, made no noise
Except a laboured wheezing.

They rushed to him, pulling him
From under his dying Splendour,
Lifting him to the side of the street,
Propping him on someone’s steps,
Wiping his unhelmeted, wetting hair,
And checking for a pulse, if any.
Someone ran a finger before his eyes,
Declared he was conscious and okay,
And proceeded to tap on the left leg
Till his shout reached the rooftops.

An old woman and her sons
Rushed to the boar, pulling it
To the other side of the street,
Propping it on someone’s slide,
Wiping away the foaming mouth
And checking for a breath, if any.
She ran her fingers on its hide,
Declared it was conscious but not okay,
And proceeded to shoot a finger out
Till her shout reached the rooftops.

“He killed my boar, my precious boar.
He killed my means of livelihood.
He might as well have killed me.
He is a killer, good people. Killer.”

Her elder son held her close to heart
And shot his own finger at the crowd.
“Don’t let him go till he pays for this.
Don’t let him get away with this.”

Too many shouts in too many tongues
Then reached the rooftops on the street.
Some this side, some that side,
Some in the middle crying Reason.
“It’s an accident,” said they.
“He accidented it,” said a side.
“It accidented him,” said the other.
Broomsticks came to stomp on steps,
Hempen ropes to slap the slides,
And someone in their senses still
Told the semi-senseless man
To leave some cash on the steps
And leave with him through a door
To the back side of this street.
“My bike?” he asked.
“Your life?” he asked.
“No time, no time.”
So, while the broomsticks stomped
And the hempen ropes slapped,
The men slipped through a door
And cash slipped through the crowd
To the hands of the old woman.

Now, when you stand on the rooftops
You see the woman train her boars.
“Good boy. Good boy. Run. Run.”
And you see them butting straight
Into the side of a dead Splendour.

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