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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Seven thousand a day stillborn

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Seven thousand a day stillborn worldwide
says the headline, forgetting seven thousand
a day mothers with voids in their wombs,
infected by slurs bursting like pus from hackneyed lips
of their own kin. Seven thousand a day mother-hoods
stillborn, destined to bear a viscous grief in their eyes
while their own flesh turns into a monument of mud.
Seven thousand a day fathers ushering doubt into doors
beyond which science and religion appear futile;
only an angry pain gnaws at the soul with stillborn
claws of memory. Seven thousand a day nearly-parents
resuming with a dreadful rancor, a bitterness unmitigated
by gossip, tv, cricket, a fury concealed within their breasts.
The countless aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbors keep
reminding them that pity has a tenor which like a rake
keeps scratching at the surface, while the worms of sorrow
penetrate the deeps within. Seven thousand a day questions
forsaken by an age-old habit of accepting a stillborn future
as fate. Seven thousand less is like an absent ripple
unnoticed by the ocean that sloshes and surges; the shells
and sand left in its wake become new ground for feet to sink in,
for hands to build fragile dream-houses, and forget
how each day, seven thousand disappear without a word
or a smile or a tear. Seven thousand a day stillborn souls
recalled to the base-station or wherever they come from.
While two-and-a-half million per year retreat without a syllable,
to have each one of us alive, day after day, isn't it, a miracle? 

**

Appeared first in Reading Hour, July-Aug 2012.

1 comment:

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