Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Lockdown Poetry - Doris Zualteii


From the start,

The gamut of information

Bubbled and burst.

And simultaneously,

Fear and hope alternated.

(Acceptance sometimes

made an appearance)

But mostly, we are learning..

Then relearning

About this strange new virus

That refuses to stick to prototype,

To obey its classification, to be slotted and subdued to submission.

It evades and changes behaviour

Seemingly slowly, but continuously.

An article here, supports a theory

An article there, dismisses the theory.

An obvious contact tests negative,

A distant passerby gets positive.

A strange virus, that begot this strange rhyme.



'We were born to die'

What a crass definition

That deserves an angry denial,

At the least, a parting dirty look.

But being alive only ascertains

That yes, we are most surely

Likely to die. Someday, not soon

Maybe, but someday, definitely.

And the certainty of death

Is what makes life precious.

And it makes the living so alive

And the leaving, so difficult

And the left, forever bereft.



I'd like to travel, she said.

She had dreams of Paris and New York.

I promised her, someday.

He loved weekends,

How he could simply stay home

Or visit family or a favourite hangout.

Now she doesn't speak of travelling,

And he prays for school to start. Every night.

It breaks my heart.

I've travelled, though not far.

And the smallest, will she ever

Be confined to Home, no school,

Not... ever?

6 months, and it feels

Paralytic, a lifelong diagnosis,

With a terrible prognosis.



I have lost my vocabulary.

It was misplaced somewhere between my phone

And the television.

I struggle for words,

Synonyms that would deliver.

But i have to settle for words that convey

Half the meaning, with half the impact.

I have to read, again.


As distressful and trying these pandemic times have been, it has also created circumstances and opportunities for people to do things they don't normally have time for. Such as our featured writer here.

Doris Zualteii is a medical doctor, a pathologist to be precise, at the Mizoram State Cancer Institute. When she's not busy at work, her three young children and a medico husband keep her extremely busy at home.  The last couple of months, however, have helped her birth these very personal reflections in poetry - something she hasn't done for several years. We'd love to see more creative output from her so do keep writing, doc!

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