A Sri Lankan Obituary

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He died of complications of the lung
Pneumonia they call it. Haemophilus pneumoniae
 
And water in the lungs. He inhaled sooty smog
And air conditioned with Legionella
 
He ate koththu roti with Staphylococci and gecko droppings
And made love with a strain of Gonorrhea
 
He ate Chinese for all three meals, even brunch
And had plain tea with ginger and three teas spoons of sugar
 
In his life, he had two bouts of dengue – in two serotypes
But survived to be bitten by a thousands more mosquitos
 
He had yeast infections and Candida albicans
Was found in his circulation more than once
 
He left behind a diabetic wife and two children
Whose past-times are attending tuition classes
 
And he lived his life to the fullest, saw cricket on TV,
Watched the 8 PM news and Sirasa superstar
 
He switched political parties 8 times, and contested
As an independent candidate in the 2006 election
 
He was an armchair critique of just about everything
And a de-facto selector of the Sri Lankan cricket team
 
And his legacy will go on, of a loving husband
Who knew how to flush his commode and use the bidet
 
And a loving father who knew how to drop his kids in school
And a loving sibling, who contested his own father’s will
 
And a charitable human being, who fed the street dogs
And gave a coin each time to street beggars
 
And during the last days, he complained of having
A migraine in his conscience, it seems he finally
 
Grew one just before he died. And he gave his body
To the medical students and wanted his children
 
To become members of the GMOA, just so his grand children
Could get the best of Colombo schools. He loved fair women, small wooly dogs
 
And was a lifelong champion of cheap alcohol.
Anything Rockland was his choice spirit.
 
He found love from a paper advertisement. He was very fair
And handsome in his younger days and grew darker due to climate change.
 
He was of a Govi caste, although the only agriculture he knew
Was an agricultural shot of a cricket ball over cow corner.
 
And he had a horoscope that predicted a long life.
And now at 58, he leaves his loved ones behind.
 
He called his wife “Hallo”, and phone calls “hello”
And all his friends “macho” and any Indian “Ado”
 
And he died with wife holding his hand. You could
Say he always had her, at hallo.
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Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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