Poem: What do we really give

By: Debleena Majumdar

eyes of pain

The eyes; you notice them first,
Eyes that had seen a father flinch
In shame, or a mother’s lost look of pain,
Yet eyes that look at you, warm and pure,
As you stand at the door, transfixed, unsure.

The smiles, yes you notice them too,
Uncertain, yet bright, full of hope,
Untarnished by the ghosts of the past.
Their bodies frail, their clothes faded,
But nothing about them tired or jaded.

The gifts you carry grow heavier in your hand.
You battle the urge to drop them and flee
That door. CSR checklist ticked for the month.
Isn’t your job done? You have no time to waste.
Care has been delivered in parcels of haste

Or is it innocence disfigured that makes you flinch?
A neck broken; hanged from a tree for being born a girl,
A tiny sent out to beg when he should have been in bed,
Each story, raw, real; do they make you cringe?
Hey, aren’t you giving, standing at the fringe?

Or before you leave, do you once pause?
Looking for that lost moment, frozen in time,
Just to hear them laugh, loud and free,
A gentle touch, a hug, a smile;
Will all that not be worth your while?

Do they run to you holding on to your hand?
Clamouring for a story or for a song?
Climbing on to your lap, reciting their rhymes,
Is it only then that the forgotten tears break free?
And in that lost time do you find a reason to be?
For they may be
Children of war,
Or of abandonment,
Or of unimaginable terror.
But they want to live,
Are we really able to give?

Categories: Poetry

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