Poetry

May 11, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

 

By

Tanushree Ghosh

 

 

The Children in a Faraway Land

 

 

I have my worries, my mountains of worries

Life’s torturous tests thrown at me

Another lost opportunity, another un-returned call

Laundries to fold when I get back

And another night of co-existing

While children are dying in a faraway land

 

Greece or Macedonia? Hungary or Austria?

Are they fleeing persecution or seeking fortune

What if they grope our women? Steal our jobs?

Dirty our streets, or bomb our coffee shops?

I don’t want to see them either, lining along the manicured sidewalks

Crowding up my streets when I am already late for work

 

So children keep dying in a faraway land

There always have been and always will be

There are experts who will know what to do, there are ‘others’ who will surely help

Maybe the pile of clothes from last week,

In pretty good conditions, dropped into a box,

Will make it to them just in time, and will prove that I did abet

 

Maybe they will sniff in those clothes

My worries, my life, my constraints,

Maybe they will know I would have helped,

If there wasn’t something else

 

But things came up like they always do

So I prayed for them in silence instead

For God to do what we won’t attempt

And save the children in the faraway land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That girl

 

 

You know the girl who never raised her hand?

All her questions stupid, all her comments irrelevant

The one with that bag in her mother’s closet

Waiting to be hers one day

 

The girl who loves the man you love

And you know she does, and he knows she does

The girl who wants to ask but never does

For neither the bag nor the man

 

The girl who waits for her turn by the lines

As days turn into dusk

Her first kiss not what she wanted

Her dress bearing the stains of her life

 

She falters and falls even on the smoothest of stairs

And isn’t allowed to switch her glasses for lens

She looks at the bag in her mother’s closet

Pretty things will be hers one day

 

She has grown up and you have grown up

Changed cities, men and lives

Yet you meet her often, in cafes and bus-stops

You meet her and the love of her life

 

They hold hands and share moments

And watch the world pass by

The bag – could be hers if she wants it still

But you know she doesn’t, and you know why

 

Manicured nails and well-paying job

Achievements to boast of, men conquered,

Yet all you want, is to know how not to want

and just watch the world pass by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanushree Ghosh

Tanushree Ghosh works in Supply Chain Management in the Tech industry (she has a Ph.D in Chemistry from Cornell University and has worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratories) and is an author and activist in her spare time. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and has published in several literary magazines and blogs. Her first anthology was selected into Oprah’s reading list 2.0 and her first single author manuscript is currently with her agent: Jennifer Lyons. She is also the founder of HerRights: a non profit working to catalyze action against gender violence. For more on her visit:www.thoughtsandrights.com.

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