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Reality Check

by Piyush Pandey

I have a cold.
I sleep through the afternoon,
Dreaming of paradise.
The light there is golden.
Children play gentle games
And their laughter
Adds to the music.
Bruises and agonies
Are forever gone.
And the heart they’ve left behind
Is light and kind.

I wake up in joy
Into a world where my throat is sore.
But my aching head wants to defy disease
And live with memories of happy dreams.

The sun is about to set as I walk to the park,
Muffled up and weak.

Mosquitoes settle on my hands,
Pierce my skin and suck my blood.
I stand and watch the children.
They run, hide, shout, quarrel and complain.
Some kill butterflies for fun.
Others run and chase a limping dog.

Rubbish and a dead bird float
On the dark water of the desolate pond
That refuses to twinkle or shine.
It ignores the golden light
Almost devoured by darkness.

As I walk home, sneezing,
I want to stop at the medicine shop
But a sign on the door says “Closed.”

Copyright © 2013 by Piyush Pandey

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