My eyelids flutter open, a bewildered grace around me,
Flat pavement, grey mortar as far as the eye can see.
What is this stiff material that restrains my roots?
These rough stone, irregular shapes, poking my foot.
Where did the loose soil go, the brown mush?
Can’t I play around, grow in that earthy slush?
As far as my little veins flutter, as far as I can see,
No change in the land, no place that I have been.
Take me back to where the sun shines,
To where I can fully stretch my green spine.
How did I end up here, where am I even?
Is this where God dumps many a heathen?
This dull, dreary, gloomy sky, shrouded with guilt
Guilt of a land destroyed, and I am left to wilt
For there is no water that reaches my parched tips
As far as my fibrous dendrites can stretch, not even a sip
Is there a way out of here, where can I go?
Is this it? Beyond this pavement, is life no more?
Try as I might to let myself take a breath
I can’t help but think my future is set
Here is where my pores will open and close at last,
The concrete will swallow me, no sign left of the past
The past, of pink flowers and white clouds,
Of plentiful rain and trees standing proud
On the land of their Mother, their kin at their side,
Now all that’s left is ruin, produced by human pride.
The birds that pecked at the grass beside me used to say
It’s a beautiful world out there, little one, one God made
With his own hands, he sculpted large mountains
Ones that touch the sky, ones that lie under oceans
Ones that spew out hot, fiery rock
They rumble as the Earth talks
She talks of the energy she contains, the power
It used to surge through her, now she’s reduced to a coward.
Written by Mahia Desylva
Artwork by Ashitha Melissa Sunder