The Pandemic Can’t Be Romanticised Anymore

It was once romanticised
when the rich swam,
in their giant pools
like mermaids or swans.

The casements
of their mansions so high,
opened to clouds floating
under blue sky
the moon’s silver beams
kissing a lullaby.

Why would they care
to know
on the road walk
scores of migrants
with Moon-like craters
under their feet.

They tell us
hummingbirds are nursed
by milkweeds.
We pick up
the newspaper
and the headline we read.
A baby is wanting
to wake up her mother
who died in need.

Climate activists rejoice
for the dolphins
returned from exile,
Olive Ridley turtles
have claimed their spaces.
All this while
on the TV, we still see
who longed for a meal
while walking miles.

Here, the day has come
and I wish it was
just a nightmare.
But the half sleep
of sickened drowse
bursts to scare.

My rich friend now says
that reality is so bizarre
but still claps when this man
emerges from his car
to step on the rostrum of corpses
as it is his ace.
It’s not the moonlight
but the light on his face–
enough to beguile
the legion of idiots who cheer
till we say his apostles
are extremely sincere.

The apostles are caught
stringing garlands of flowers
to conceal the stench
of those rising in power.

The family of the deceased
sit to recite prayers,
souls are kept in waiting
to seek the last rites of pyre.
We hold each other
asking to be brave.
A corpse trudges
into the cemetery
to find himself a grave.

Zufishan Rahman is graduate of Biological Sciences from University of Allahabad. She is author of ‘Foxfire-A book of poems’ and is currently working on her second book. She posts a lot of obscure poetry on her Instagram @zufishanrahman

Featured image: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash