2013 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award

Winner: “Tourist in India"
by Gail White
Final Judge: Dick Davis

Tourist in India


Monkeys are urban animals in Delhi,
peacocks are city birds. And everywhere
I’m drowned in waves of men who want to sell me
overpriced souvenirs. I fight for air

and reach the marble shores of my hotel.
Thank God for Lutyens! Where would Delhi be
without the British? They used power well,
spread English, trained the boys that serve my tea.

But O seductive East! Today I found
a Hindu temple, entered and was crowned
with marigolds, made puja, walked around
a lingam thrice and sang “Jai Hanuman”
while monkeys chattered and without a sound
my Christian ghost indulgently looked on.


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