Dreams Crushed

a poem by Siripurapu Sankar, India

*Dreams Crushed*

Destiny drove them to distant lands.
Leaving behind their near and dear in the villages,
Eyes brimming up with dreams,
Hopes of earning higher wages,
They drove in herds to cities,
Where they sweated and fretted and fumed
With the future luring,
The only silver line their dreams had.

But all at once they're squeezed into the whirl of Corona.
Bewildered, uncared for and shattered they fled back,
Desperate to reach their roots.

Neither buses nor trains could ferry them,
And their own feet, God given, came to their rescue.

They walked with families big and small,
Walked, walked and walked,
Lying down when tired on the roads or rail tracks,
Not knowing that they are death traps.

As they collapsed tired in mind and body,
Death descended on them,
On its iron wheels, in their last earthly sleep.
Crushed and scattered the dead were,
The living ones left in dismay.

Homeless, nameless they were
While alive and in death too.
The world that used them, let them depart unnoticed.
Not even a little clamor from the estates ONE to FOUR,
And all that they got were some nonchalant comments.

Is that all that these people achieved in life?
Is this the final respite for a fellow citizen, a valued voter?

Are we as Homo Sapiens concerned?
Is this life or mere Hypocrisy!

Do we pass on the blame on Covid-19?
These indeed are great times that one can never forget!!!

(Inspired by Sailaja’s Original on COVID—19 Travel Victims)

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BHANUPRASAD GALI, Siripurapu Sankar