Humanity, O' Humanity



How can a woman,

Knowing that her husband has the virus,

Knowing that the infection spreads,

Knowing that her life could be at risk,

Put her mouth to his and blow

In hopes that her love is strong enough to save him from death?

A true love’s kiss can bring back the dead, they say.

Then why was it not enough to stop him from dying?


How can an old man on the verge of breathlessness

Bravely give up his hospital bed

So that a young man with a weeping wife and frightened children

Can have it instead?


How can the youth put on hold the restlessness of their teenage years,

To take up responsibility,

And run the country's healthcare in the place of a useless government?


How can the government arrange for mass gatherings

Around holy pyres in the name of religion

When thousands are burning in funeral pyres

At parking lots and street corners?


How can Muslim men who have been subject to Islamophobia in their own country,

Forget it all for a moment

To carry on the last rites of the dead Hindus

When their own families would refuse to come near them?


How can men in power ignorantly hold vans carrying oxygen cylinders

To perform cult rituals and take photographs

While a mother begs at authority's feet to provide a can for her son?


How can traffic make way for the ambulance

When every vehicle on the road is an ambulance itself

Racing its way, not to carry the critical to the hospital,

But the dead to cemeteries?


How can the rich reserve hospital beds for their own selfish paranoia,

While refusing to give reservations for the oppressed in need?


How can the ghost stories we heard as children

About swings moving on their own not come true

When parks are turned into crematoriums

To make space for the dead?


How can all this happen at once?

How can humanity both deter and thrive?


Humanity, O' humanity,

Where does your strength lie?

Is it in love? Is it in fear? Is it in god?


Humanity, O' humanity,

It seems to be your fall.

And yet, you somehow rise

As acts of courage, kindness, and sacrifice.


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