A picture of drought from Bundelkhand, Maharashtra in India (Photo Credit: Hindustan Times)

The day scorched his back
black eyes, 
blinded by light 
he walks to the shade
of the tree he planted 
with his father
some forty years ago

he — the farmer 
his father — the farmer 
with bent backs 
both lived to see 
a day like this 
standing under the shade 
of this lone tree 
standing there with them 
marking the boundary of their field 
onlooking their fate
destroyed year after year

and then destruction was 
all that was left 
when the tree 
lent a hand
to help them end this cycle 
of land parched 
crops destroyed
life loaned to 
sharks in ties 
mild face, sucking 
drying out his soul 
repeated three years in a row
curdling his dreams
which were the color of gold
but now his crops turned to 
the color of dust
him, his father 
clinging to a hope
their lives became the collateral
hanging from a rope

the blinding light
shifts and turns 
into the color of blood 
and then dies out

they said it rained
for millions of years
when there was 
nothing on earth but 
fire and fumes
it rained so much 
that it filled the oceans.


In India, ~3000 farmers committed suicide in 2015, increasing 40% since 2014.

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