I woke up with a jerk
gasping for breath.
Panting and heaving,
for I felt no air.
My heart went berserk
pumping like crazy,
needing more oxygen
but not getting any.
My bones felt weak,
yet I rushed out of bed.
Too heavy for my feet,
I fell with a thud.
I crawled out painfully
into the open balcony,
and raised myself somehow
to just breathe normally.
To my utter shock,
the whole humanity,
and not just me,
faced this destiny.
Men and women writhed in pain
on pavement, road and portico.
Crawling, agape and smothering –
we were being wiped out and let go.
Then the skies roared
and soon it rained.
I opened my mouth
and stretched my hand.
Again to my dread
water didn’t wet my hand
nor quench my thirst;
things I couldn’t comprehend.
While birds chirped merrily
and dogs pranced around,
I wondered what pandemic
could be just human bound.
I felt my senses slowing
and brain getting numb,
as to the lack of air
I started to succumb.
While death stared at me
and the heart faced seizure,
a faint prayer came through
as I saw the fading azure.
“God, show me my fault
and tell me where I erred.
To be punished this way
have we really sinned?”
A voice came from nowhere –
baritone, calm and assertive.
It jarred my senses back
and kept me attentive.
“I made you free and let you be,
but you have forgotten me.
I watched your game silently
waiting for you to remember me.”
“In separation you believed for eons,
thus seeds of vices you have sown,
ownership framework you created –
that is yours and this is my own.”
“My creations you copyrighted,
then made the haves and have-nots.
Formed barriers to divine flow
causing rampant life clots.”
“Now I choose to play your game,
to patent life and make my name.
Follow ‘your’ rules to grow my fame
then beat you and deepen your shame.”
“So now pay the price for your life,
for all the good things that came free:
for your body, mind and soul,
for air, water, food and tree.”
I protested, “Oh God, how could you
treat this way your very own children.”
The voice responded, “I mirror now
your treatment of your own brethren.”
“I’ll give you what you want,
but let me just breathe.
Take everything from me
but let me just live.”
“Arrogant it is to think that you can
give me something I need.
For I need nothing but your love for all,
in thought, word and deed.”
“You think in this vast universe
You can own a thing?
When in this boundless existence
you are a speck of nothing.”
“See the spirit before you see the person,”
said lovingly that voice,
“See all, not as separate, but one,
believe in their virtue before vice.”
With repentant eyes, I begged for mercy,
apologized for letting fear catch my fancy.
Hoping to get life with divine clemency,
I promised to love with consistency.
I woke up again with a start,
breathing normally as I should.
I thanked providence for my life
and breathed as deeply as I could.
I ran to the balcony to check
if this was just a dream.
Found men hugging each other
as love filled life to the brim.
I closed my eyes in gratitude
as birds chirped around me.
Life finally found its rightful place
when man let love flow and just be.