Maithreyi Nandakumar

A trick in time


It was never a case of a quick frisk

nor quite a Chappaquiddick.

The midnight interview all too brisk –

he got taken to the nick.


Detained with refugees,

this champion of tennis

fighting his demons –

louder the boos,

greater the plaudits.


Scenes of protest

for the unvaxxed inmate –

this wealthy man’s right to choose.

Back home, Mum screams torture,

Dad recalls Christ on the cross.


Hey man, pick a trick,

I feel sick.

Can you hear clickety-click?

Oh, a reprieve!

Hallelujah, let’s celebrate,

welcome the new Messiah

who can purify toxic water

with clear thoughts that matter.

His body, his temple,

his lies, his rights.


This was all a calculated risk –

couldn’t quite pull off this gimmick.


It would be best not to mention names here as the subject of this poem would be obvious. In case the reference to Chappaquiddick (an island in Massachusetts) is puzzling – it was the scene of Ted Kennedy’s accident when he drove a car into the water which killed his female companion. He was given a suspended sentence but his chances of standing for US President went to zero after this.

Kaziranga National Park, Assam, NE India.