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Father Never Came

I lay there, a crippled, Heart thudding – its last beats. Bruised and battered, Mumbling abuses on repeat. Suffered attack I could not tame, But Father never came.

A month before the battle,

I cared for father’s sheep. But famine struck the village, And he sold me for wheat. He bore not an ounce of shame; My father never came.

I was bought by soldiers, Put foremost in the battalion. Learnt to swing a sword, But not atop a stallion. They spoke of impending maim, But Father never came.

Two thousand men and I, Marched across the fields. The spirit of patriotism, Echoed through our heels. Overnight, warriors we became, But Father never came.

It didn’t take much thought, To charge, and pierce hearts. In no time, fellow warriors’ Limbs were torn apart. We set many a ship aflame, But Father never came.

Somewhere in the mayhem, Metal chopped my bone. I fell to the grasses aweeping, Never had I felt so alone. In pain, I cried out his name, But Father never came.

When I awoke, in the citadel, I saw many a wounded soul. One shouted, ‘we’ve won, The king’s name extol!’ Nurses told me I was lame, But Father never came.

Now I lay here, a crippled, Heart thudding – its last beats. Silver on my head is scattered. I hum the song he sang and weep. In the attack, he bled the same, That was why my father never came.

–Raksha Saraf

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