India’s COVID-19 Crisis In The Eyes of a 17-year-old Indian Poet

A beautiful day, out with a couple of friends

Before the lockup that took them away

A delicious cup of coffee that soothes every soul in vicinity

A cup that has little effect today for the one soul that drinks it

A lovely dinner date with a person, closer than a friend yet far away from the soul

The one who reached out the very first day in the lockdown after I pulled away

A long hot bath after a long day out

It’s a shallow shrink of a shower after a short day in

A deep kiss of a lover

Someone who turned away a while ago and hasn’t reached as far yet either

Afternoons and Evenings with a family with relatives so many

Now a family losing out on time and people to find time with

Neighbors that smiled at everyone out

Locked in, or worse lying dead as a corpse

Places outdoors, lighting up at the sight of people

Today the dark and shady places filled with terror of watching people

Institutions setup to cure the ill

Now letting an illness do the killing

Educational outcomes in the embrace of the motherly being

Away is taken the mother, who now resides behind a screen, helpless

Lights of beauty filling into the notorious brinks of nature

Lights of terror setting off on any visible danger

Something so very unknown and dangerous and so very far

Now at your door, waiting for you to set it ajar

Waiting for you to look out and take a peak

Lift your nose, breathe or speak

Find its way through you, into you, deep and visceral

To do its work, kill, or worse, make you wait

In a torture amidst death or no death

Until you find your way into the place, a place of terror

And a weird comfort

Setting off a set of terrible misbehaviors

All of them

Those friends, that family, that lover, that coffee

That school, that healthcare, that out in the wild

That everything

Nothing makes sense and it never really will

Everything pains and nothing ever will

Nothing remains and yet everything will

The sole beauty of letting it go completely within.

Completely Within

-Vidhi Matai, 17, India