Nudged by a request to write a piece on optimism, the poet in Bindiya demurred as she reflected on the state of the world before finding a flicker of hope
My friend tells me to write a piece on optimism.
My poetic heart is dead,
I try. God knows I try to tell myself
Every day is a new day – such a cliché
What should I tell my young widow friend who lost her mother?
How should I wipe the tears of that one who huddles in a camp waiting for a miracle?
What can I do for the hill folk torched out of their homes?
How can I rebuild the lives claimed by nature’s fury?
Optimism, do you even exist? I try.
God knows I try telling myself it is hiding in my fearful heart.
Then the trains collided.
Death and destruction abound.
The broken bones and machinery made no pleasant sound.
I try to grab the sliver of light from that depressive dance of despair.
Emerging from the earth rose the Bravehearts of Balasore
Queuing to give blood to the unknown victims in the dead of night,
They came one after the other.
Blood is all they had to give.
The poor became rich overnight.
And the sun of optimism shone bright that morning.
Even as death did its ugly dance
The light was bright.
I drive to work.
The twinkling laughter of the half-clad child knocked on my window.
Standing by my car in the scorching heat, he asked for a little respite.
I rolled down my glass and poured cold water into his cupped hands.
The second one followed, then another
In that brief moment, I emptied my water bottle and filled my heart
Our eyes met
Filled with optimism, we giggled in rhythm in a spirit of shared humanity,
Many forgot some do remember, and that is good for now
Optimism bubbles in my poem
Brought out by the gentle nudge of my friend
Lead visual courtesy Markus Spiske/Unsplash