Curfew: Day 52

1 migrant worker (and the baby she had during
her long walk home)

Hope too is curfewed, hovering 1.8 metres away,
masked and gloved. Everything points to the

appearance of a god, let’s say goddess (but what
are the odds?), to take matters in her own hands

which of course makes the causality problematic,
but faith doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme with

reason. There must be a vanquishing, a triumph,
a reseeding of goodness and the inevitable miracle.

Or two. This is the time, isn’t it? What else could it
mean when the broken are still falling and the fallen

are still breaking , when you hear a million palms
join together, a million knees touch the ground, when

life wants to live longer and death needs to die sooner –
do we know the consequences of so much prayer?

how many dawns
will it take
to erase this endless night

For the millions of migrant workers making their way back to villages and towns in the hinterland, thousands on foot,walking hundreds of kilometres, as livelihoods are destroyed during the lockdown and hunger becomes a greater threat than disease.

Also read:
Curfew: Day 51

33 thoughts on “Curfew: Day 52

  1. A read about a single woman with her children walking 55 kms to the nearest town to find food. No-one helped her and she and the children were on their way back when they were found by the Gift of the Givers, a disaster relief fund in South Africa. Thankfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The horror stories just keep on coming everyday. The suffering of the poorest is out there for all to see and yet…. but you’re right, in the middle, there are also these wonderful stories of Good Samaritans and NGOs doing extraordinary outreach. Thankfully!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “do we know the consequences of so much prayer?”–no. only that it must be part of the solution to every problem. Someday, in one carnation or another, I will be the woman with the child or he child with the woman. Someday I may be the God and question its helplessness. Someday I will forgive big business for making it worse and losing all morality. Someday I will write a dose of poetry as powerful as this. We know what produces this poetry, but do we know the consequences?


  3. This is a tragic story, Rajani, sadly one of many across the world. The opening lines are the sharpest hooks, visceral and heartfelt. As I read your poem, I heard ‘a million palms / join together, a million knees touch the ground’. The haiku is a question too many humans have been asking for thousands of years.


  4. How terrible it was to see the hundreds possibly thousands of migrant workers having to make their way home on the news iwth precious little assistance and obviously a dearth of food. I do hope that they all make it back to their families.


  5. Perfect description: hope being curfewed. That’s how I feel now. And the million knees!


  6. This is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. You describe the pain, the trials and tribulations of these poor souls with such command of language.


    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment. It’s never ending isn’t it.. and the economic consequences are yet to be fully felt. 2020 has been just awful.


  7. Hopefully the prayers of a million bended knees will rise to influence those who engender hate. It is wearying to be just one small voice in the wilderness, but adding it to so many others is rewarding.


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