A Gift The Child Never Asked For - Poem by Mahadevan Krishnan
The child’s twinkling eyes
Gazed neither at rainbows nor starry nights
Her eyes drooped
Witnessing chaos and rebellion
The child’s supple drums
Danced neither to chirps nor bedtimes
Her ears deafened
Engulfed amidst drones and rumbling skies
The child’s moist nostrils
Sensed neither a baking delight nor a simmering waffle
Her nose charred
Immersed in smoke and soot
The child’s sweet buds
Savoured neither lollies nor a candy
Her tongue dreaded
Feasting on stale and ferment crumbs
The child’s tender limbs
Knew neither a hug nor a cuddle
Her skin scalded
Showered by torch and splinters
Unseen are your falls
When frolic dwells along insurgency
Unheard are your cries
When perishing billows rise
Unattended are your wounds
When homes turn rubble
Unknown is your existence,
When shrapnels diminish the child amidst war
With God given senses comes a child
In a hope to cherish the wonders of nature
Poor child was she destined with her senses
To see, hear, smell, taste and feel a man made world.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
The first stanza portrays the situations children face in wars. Children come into this world to explore their childhood with their senses while enjoying a childhood of frolic and mischief. The child amidst a war however is lost, dismayed, and despaired as she is weak and volatile in physical, mentally and is devastated emotionally. Exposed to annihilation, her senses gradually shut her off from this world for it offers her only a dreadful experience. This stanza conveys the message that any child amidst a war is though a mass of cotton amidst a ravaging inferno. Unable to comprehend situations, the damage on children extends beyond the physical.
Living a life of a destitute, her pain, struggle, hunger, ailment and cries are neither known nor noticed. Even her death may never be commemorated for such a fate is insignificant to a society in chaos.
As all creations and their young are bound to cherish the essence of their childhood, the child at war has been denied of all her freedom and immersed into a landscape constructed and orchestrated by man on a political and ideological platform. This, questions the credibility of mankind in assuring a peaceful world for children.
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