Sirens, screams, hollers and heaves are now abound,

blood and the red bricks woven in a matchless gown.

Not even marrying the god of death could augment

this single bride’s pain in her tryst with torment.


Her fingers are torn, and yet, she madly throws

bricks after bricks from the ground below,

she feels her fear insidiously grow

about the truth she already knows.


A violent quake had turned a glee Saturday to history,

and beneath the debris had vanished her family of three.

Gone, her husband with hope! Gone, her child with dreams!

Now remains with the silent widow, only her silent screams.


On the street outside, she sees her neighbors gather ’round

as she tires searching for two bodies that aren’t to be found,

and in the middle of the crowd lie two bodies covered in veils –
the crowd’s silence turns to tears and painful wails.


With a drop of acceptance in an ocean of dread,

she wipes her tears, starts walking ahead,

reaching the wailing crowd she realizes she misread

that they weren’t sad, they were relieved instead!


For it wasn’t their child or their lover who had died,

for it wouldn’t be them who were cursed to survive,

for it was her alone who would have to shoulder the pain,

through her life’s lonely autumn and the barren monsoon rain. 


Gone is her family, her city, and those soaring colorful kites,

Etched in her mind are those woeful plights, those woeful sights

and the dreadful thought that the screams under the rubble might,

without even a fuss or fight, just silently die out in that endless night.


She limps to the field where with her children she once played,

and sees now a grave where thousands of bodies are laid
‘You can, if you close your eyes, hear some heave their dying breath’

she says, ‘in this once sylvan glade, now a caravanserai of death’.


She says, ‘Politicized aid, handouts and helping hands,

have come hand in hand with human trafficking and contrabands.

Food and water comes at the edge of our survival,

and we all hear the hills silently echo monsoon’s arrival.

But my crops are buried beneath the rubble

along with what made my life a happy bubble.’


‘So, what now?’ I ask, a question anything but thorough,

she rustles, ‘Just these golden lights of the morrow

with no care or sorrow

call me to my grave,

where I will return with love

all these painful days that I borrow.’

Pratik Kunwar
Executive Director at Eclectic Foundation
Pratik Kunwar is the Founder and Executive Director of The Eclectic Foundation. He is usually traveling, drafting policies, consulting cooperatives or engaging in other social endeavors. When he is free, he disappears to write poetry and music.
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