Lord Yama Working Overtime

Yama rides his bejeweled buffalo (1850). Currently at the British Museum.

As I remember you, you were not as powerful
in all those games you played with Amma
she chased you, she held the noose, the noose slipped.

Appa often quipped: she can make a snack
of Him and swallow him for brunch,
but you played the game with her, losing with dignity.

In my dreams, you rode a red Reva, like Mahabali
I even waved to you, and you sped

but only in dreams, cars rev.

I like this painter’s vision of you
black and golden yellow
looking like a heavyweight-champion.

Your ox, buffalo grey, horns perfect curve
You posing regally like the Lord
Your assistant keeping books of account.

Now you are overworked, here taking a breather,
1st wave and 2nd wave of Covid
all over the world, pagan but impartial.

I have no intention of holding your attention
had I been younger
I would have even counted the muscles 

on your torso with a pointer.

[Sivakami Velliangiri is a senior poet, born in Madras and brought up at Trivandrum, and now living in Chennai.When Sivakami Velliangiri was Sivakami Ramanathan she published her poems in Youth Times. After coming to Chennai she published in various literary journals. Professor Srinivasa Iyengar included her among the women poets in his History of Indian Writing in English (1980). She is Founder Member and Co-Coordinator of ‘The Quarantine Train,’ an online Poetry Workshop of Lockdown, curated by Arjun Rajendran. Her online Chapbook In My Midriff was published by Lily Literary Review. How We Measured Time is her debut poetry book.]