Poem of the Day: “To India”


Written in memory of the dire Covid-19 situation in India, escalating like wildfires as we speak.

This is not the country I know
Every day, I see or hear
that more or less kills me,
bodies falling one by one,
like islands sinking into the sea.
And all I could do
is watch and pray
for the miracle of air
in a room full of air.
Perhaps I was born for this fight,
against an unseen enemy
insistent on our end,
resistant to our prayers.

I cannot quit;
this is what my strength tells me.
Pace the room with me
and look helpful;
they’re dying as we speak.
Narayan will go before the hour,
Sharma will not see first light.
Hold back your tears
and hold them with
the great hands of your heart.
Weep for those at the door
if you must weep,
the ones with dreams and ambitions,
the ones we had to turn away
while the sirens scream
and the fires rage.

© Wallace Fong, April 2021

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