Migrants’ Ode to the City

Jayati Srivastava | Sunday, May 10, 2020

A flight of fancy was this city,
A place for longing, belonging and livelihood was this city;

Our blood and toil enriched this city,
Our pain and distress was never comprehended by this city;

The pandemic has unearthed a new mirror in this city,
Showing the darkest and the grimiest side of this city;

Despair, anguish and hopelessness have gripped this city,
Hunger, pain and suffering have corroded this city;

Empathy, compassion and sympathy have become strangers in this city,
All that is left are the bodies without souls in this city;

Broken dreams and promises are scattered across this city,
Bereft of its dreams and romance, can this still be called a city?

The poem is my way of empathising with the plight and suffering of millions of migrant workers during the nation-wide lockdown in India.

Jayati Srivastava | New Delhi | May 10, 2020

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