NS Kumar


Message to Readers

I'd love to know what you think about the poem!

Failure Ode

June 7, 2020

PROMPT: This I Believe

I believe in everyone who has lost,
walking past celebrations with head bowed, someone's
victory speech ingested with pain, yet smiling.

All around them is defeat. All around them are
tragedies dealt out like a Shakespearean play, each
ember of hope sieved out of their aching hearts.

Someone is climbing a ladder, someone
is falling, someone lending a helping hand 
to the wounded and wounding someone
Someone is dying.

Someone is stepping back from the edge 
of a precipice, taking
a chance when every door has
slammed closed.

A mother is knitting a sweater 
for a child who will never be born.
A man in a raincoat is kneeling at the foot 
of an unyielding statue.
A farmer considers his locust plagued field,
and whispers, Let's begin. Again.

We encounter each other with knowing looks, looks
of solidarity, dreams we feel in the rhythm
of each other's heartbeats. Dreams renewed.

Dreams shouted across the city 
on the megaphone 
as everyone sleeps.
Dreams murmured into
the hospital bed.
Dreams that don't always come true.

Sometimes, we slip down
our way to doom, and never
achieve what we set out to do.

in today's sunlight, in this invigorated air,
we are piling up the broken shards 
of failure and reaching for the sky.

Though I know
that we will lose again
and again
and again.

I'm sure that we'll reach there someday. 


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