Partition 1947, a poem by Duane L Herrmann at
Joshua Olsen

Partition 1947

Partition 1947

written by: Duane L Herrmann


My aunt arrived in rags
and cousin too,
but they were alive.
Trains arrived
all passengers dead
didn’t make the news
too many dead to care.
Fortunately, my aunt
had been able to sew
some jewels in hiding
that were not searched.
Muslim neighbors gone,
they moved in.
Just ten, I
didn’t understand
tragic circumstance
as our nation split
with too many dead.



As Punjabi, not English was his first language, Daljit Jawa asked for my assistance in writing his memoir. I did so gladly. This poem, and a short story published elsewhere, is based on an experience he related to me. The train loads of people who arrived dead were simply trying to comply with the political division of their country. No one knows how many died. I felt they should be remembered in some way. This poem tries to do that.

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