Freedom

Mitali Chakravarty

Snippets of history caught

by the rays of the glinting sun—

Did the sun also shine when

past events transformed

 

human ways forever?

When wheels and fire drew

our species out of caves, did the

breeze blow and the leaves

 

stir so — just as they do today?

Did the waters flow each

time mankind took a turn?

Did the tides ebb? Did the

 

waves rush? Did the river

twinkle gem studded as

whispers of human-wins

wafted from murmurs

 

embedded in trees? Did

nature stand still when

crimson sunsets dissolved

into the blood-red of beheaded

 

trains, or mushroom clouds? Was the

Earth disturbed by the unnatural lights

that ripped across the skies amidst

millions of lost lives that lingered with

 

horrific pain? Did the sky weep atomic

rain? Did the rivers turn red with

Partition lores? Do the clouds weep,

weep even more now as endless pyres

 

smoke — intermingle with dust from

pandemic graves? Do birds still singing

soar across skies, cleared of holocausts

but divided into zones by battle-worn planes?

 

Humans, do they feel free — free

as the breeze, as the rays of the sun or

the birds that fly, water that flows

or grass that grows? Are we as free?

 

Have manmade lores ever given us the freedom we seek?

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