Sujata Bhatt

Gregor’s Sister Speaks

Gregor, dear brother,
why didn’t you think of wings?

Why didn’t you turn into a butterfly instead?

I would have joined you, and mother and father too —
            if only you had told us how.

We could have all grown huge orange wings,
you could have added tiger stripes
         to be different —

We could have made the sky
orange and gold with black tiger lines
                    brushing against the clouds.

We could have inspired lilies to grow as tall as trees —

And the neighbors would have called us the new angels —

We could have flown far away
       migrating to India or Costa Rica —

We could have escaped our fate,
               our ordinary deaths — truly escaped
what History expected from us.