Ghazal for February by Ananya Pandey

There is a dog on the road looking up at the city every day
With eyes of a poem’s tireless wonder – I too try, every day

On Rani Jhansi road, the houses have been half demolished for years
Here, construction and livelihoods carry on every day

At the chowk as I pass birds pecking at busy grain
They plunge their hearts skyward, in uprising every day

The air we used to breath free turned fire, a February ago
When again will wind in Ramjas blow khulla every day?

Wave upon wave of injustice brings new battles to the fray
Harder are the oldest battles, to be fought again every day

So many sorrows wash to my doorstep, some dear and some faraway
Hardest are those that cannot be fought, only lived with every day.

Ananya, how will your city of memories survive the earthquake?
Force not a forgetting, or it will haunt its streets every day.

if you want us to throw stones back

if you want us to throw stones back,
we could pick the entire planet apart.

if you want, we could raise our sticks
over the walls of our fortresses

till they are piled so high with bricks
that they crush the sky over our heads.

we could quench our thirst with each other’s blood
till all our rivers and veins run dry,

but listen, I can tell you this:
in the face of our smiles,

in the sound of the laugh
that we share, singing hand in hand

there is something you cannot kill:
the only weapon we’ll wield,

this unbreakable joy
is the resistance in our peace.

Bio:Ananya Pandey is a student of English literature at Ramjas College, University of Delhi, who enjoys writing and taking photographs

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