The homeless, the impoverished, all forlorn,
were plodding on towards home,
rendered distraught by a mere virus,
and even the dawn was dark; the dam had burst.
“There is some food
back home in our village,
the company people asked to vacate,
there was no option, and we had to leave.”
Said one with a funereal air.
Onwards trooped the hapless group,
towels wrapped around their heads,
as protection against the sun, praying for that hopeful morn.
But even the dawn was dark; the dam had burst.
mothers in their arms, young kids on shoulders,
onward marched the laborers vaulting over roadblocks and boulders.
Armed with water
bottles, packets of biscuits
and a handful of grit, onwards trooped they,
trying to find their way on the meandering paths of a dark dawn.
On one young man’s shoulders sat a tiny girl, lisping away,
excited at the prospect of once again going back
to her dadi in that remote village,
listening to stories and thrilling folk lore , once again ,
unbeknownst , that their journey was the stuff
of which folklore was made.
Another tiny tot in frayed shorts
trotted beside his bedraggled dad,
“How far? I am tired dad”, he said.
“Papa, it is morning,
look the sun is shining”, muttered the girl
But the father knew
that even the dawn was dark; the dam had burst.
The silence screamed, the emptiness howled,
overhead the sinister clouds growled,
the little one burst into an agony of childish grief,
and no leaf stirred, no bird trilled,
as the afternoon sun blazed on.
And the dawn was dark; the dam had burst.