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Issue 2.2    August 2020


125 miles.

I never imagined they could be so close

behind the smoggy sky:

the bus stations filled with hawkers and

sardars on scooters.

On top of us all loomed a shadow

veiled 30 years ago, my grandmother says.


They had sent breezes to the brick-walled buildings, 

they’d whispered through the busy squares and 

while we slept,

laughed at our loud snores.


So many years in school but

they never taught us what

we saw yesterday,

when we woke up: the abode of the gods

letting loose their snow-flecked, silver hair.


They exhibit themselves because they know:

The buses will soon start running again.

The scooters will swerve their way to work.

Tourists will flock to Jalandhar to

see the havelis and the malls.

We will cover them again with gauze thick 

enough to create a mist that blinds us to

beauty of all kinds.


And what will be left of this

one fleeting moment of peace

will be the stories we tell to our grandchildren:


Once upon a time . . .

Neeraja Kumar, 15, studies in tenth grade at The Indian High School, Dubai. She currently edits for Polyphony Lit, and is the incoming coordinator (for her section) of her school magazine, e-Xpressions. She is a passive-aggressive environmentalist, poet, and listener of BTS songs.

#Nature          #Environment        #Climate Change        #Lockdown

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