The Choice

so they called all the people,
every single one.

they say they came from the darkest corners,
travelling for hours,
trudging in the freezing cold,
over burning sand,
waist deep in the putrid  floods,
their demons bound
behind their spineless backs;

they say they came in hordes,
the old, the disabled, the wounded,
the widows, the orphans, the veterans,
the families fresh from burying their dead,
the sword makers, the deal brokers,
the schemers, the planners,
you and me, she and he;

so they asked all the people,
if they wanted peace,
if they would level the unequal world,
if they would throw away their guns,
if they would let the flowers bloom again;

and the people agreed,
and leaves sprouted under luminous butterflies,
water sprung from mummified wells,
and the light was so clear
as it filtered through the spotless air,
they rubbed their eyes like it was all a painted dream;

so they asked all the people,
if they would give up
half of everything they had,
half of all they had done wrong,
half of all that had gone right,
half of everything they were,
half of everything they could be,
so everyone could become the same again,
so everything could start the same again;

and quickly the crowds disappeared,
into the shifting sands,
into the frothing river banks,
across the barren mountains,
across the turgid seas,
slowly they returned to their hoard,
to their greed, to their thrones,
to their hate, to their war
to the only way they could be;

it was just too much to ask from them,
just for light,
just for green,
just for an even field,
just for an enduring peace,
just for a full night’s sleep,
this they said all the people agreed.

For the midweek prompt at Poets United: “Suffrage”

31 thoughts on “The Choice

  1. In a nut shell! Your poem lifts me up and then drops me back down into this hot mess. But, I am left wondering if that first part could ever be–because if it could, we might have a chance. A vote would be so much more gentle than revolution. Brilliant. An outline for a novel.


  2. I must print this to read over an over. It speaks to me of a possible peace, but the reality that we may be too unwilling to let go of our petty possessions, our illusions, to create a world of harmony. But if the world is unwilling, at least I can try for myself.
    Beatiful writing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This says it all…
    “and the people agreed,
    and leaves sprouted under…” Poignant! The poem allows you to see beyond many limitations… ah, a stark reality !!
    Beautifully done, Rajni!


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