Monday, 23 January 2017

And There Shall Be Speeches

I was the last child to die for a Nobel Peace Prize
And nobody but my family knows my name.
In the badlands of the world
Where death comes from above
Like a stooping hawk
At the press of a foreign hand.

And there shall be speeches
Under crystal chandeliers
As vintage wine is sipped,
As the hungry dust sipped my blood
And congratulations and smiles are passed
Across snow-white dinner linen.

I think I had a future once
I think I had a name
All gone, in an instant
Of smoke and noise and flame
My death chosen on a Tuesday list
Signed, sealed and delivered

Long before my mother sent me to market
And waved goodbye from the door
I never arrived, I never came home
And there were tears, perhaps
I did not have eyes to see
Nor ears to hear.

And there shall be speeches
With smiles and bon mots and money too
So much money, more than my village made in a year
Money that could have given us a school, a hospital
And brought us a graveyard, for free.

And there shall be speeches
Books, and public appearances
Where adoring people take photographs,
And not one of them will ask unimportant things
Like what happened to my future
Or what was
My name.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2017