Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2023 > The War in Ukraine | Sagari Chhabra

Mainstream, VOL 61 No 11, March 11, 2023

The War in Ukraine | Sagari Chhabra

Saturday 11 March 2023, by Sagari Chhabra

‘What is a catastrophe?’
asks my child.
‘When you turn humans
into wild cats and asses,
then hand each a trophy,
of arms.’
My child notes this
with a sense of calm.
Then turning her face towards me she asks,
‘What is a collateral damage?’
‘When you tell a grieving woman
the home she built
with all her savings,
has just been bombed
by a cluster’s shavings.
But why do you need to know this?’
I venture to ask.
‘I am doing my home task.
There are some blanks
my teacher has asked me to fill;
‘how many people
must we kill
to know we have
ended the ----- race?’
What should I write
in this space?’
‘Tell your teacher
there are some spaces
no one can ever fill.
How does one occupy
the void of a mother’s presence;
a child’s prattle,
who hears the bugle
of his father’s martyrdom
as a death rattle?
There are no blanks
when the shots are fired,
for the whole world
has been mired
in self destruction and grief;
stop this war
for the sake of our children
is my brief.
How many graves
will the soil bear;
how many rivulets of tears
will the wind dry,
turning to sigh,
when will they ever learn?’

Sagari Chhabra
2 March 2023

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.