by-Spadika Jayaraj, NLSIU, Bangalore.
The length of a second is the war that she fights
The day is a teasing, and the lonely nights
Are a form of torture, a sliver from hell
She bites her lips and just hopes all is well.
One dark, stormy morning, the postman arrives
He carries a letter, which for her is life
“I hope he’s fine ma’am” he says as he hands
The letter to its receiver, she mumbles a thanks.
“Sweetheart, I miss you, I think of the day
I can hold you in my arms and feel safe again.
Each breath I take is all for you sake
Though with each bullet shot, a part of me breaks.
“I love my country, I really do
But sometimes I wonder if it’s the war that is true
Or the world in my head where i don’t have to see
All this destruction, vehemence and death around me.
“Yesterday, I had to watch another brother die
I had to watch explosions rain from the sky
I had to hear my teammates’ helpless cries
I can’t help but think that war is a lie.
“It’s how we humans disguise we’re inane
Our egos are massaged when we inflict pain
Because war, I feel now is a yawning abyss
I long for you, darling to fill it up with a kiss
“Somehow make it right, my untenable choice
To stay here and fight, I hope that your voice
Will guide me and hold me when I fall through the gap
You’re my world, love, my globe and my map.”
She reads his letter, reads it twice, reads it thrice
She soaks in its meaning, soaks in tears as she cries
She cries in helplessness, at the plea he has sent.
It is she who is searching and hoping for strength.
She writes back four verses, and licks the envelope
Seals it with a kiss, all her love and her hope.
The doorbell then rings- its the man with the post
He hands her a telegram, says “I’m sorry…” and goes.