Why Is The Grass Red?

Why Is The Grass Red? short poem

Photo by roland

“Why don’t we go to the park, father,”
Asked the little boy, slipping his little palm into his father’s,
“Like we used to every day
Till a month back?”

“Why don’t we walk around the park, father,”
He asked, tugging his father towards the gate,
“Like we used to every day
Till a month back?”

“Why is it not safe anymore, father”
He asked, gripping his father’s hand tightly,
“But it used to be
Till a month back?”

“Why is the park so bare, father,”
He asked, looking all around, puzzled,
“It was never so
Till a month back?”

“Why are the benches vacant, father,
Where are the grandpas and grandmas?
Why are the swings and see-saws still?
Where are the little children?
Why are the trees so silent, father
Where are the birds?
Why is the ground so bare, father
Where did the grass go?”

“And what is this small patch, father,
It was not there before
This red-brown earth all cracked and bare
What is this pit in the park, father?
It was not there
Till a month back?”

“But why did people die here father
Who dropped the bomb?
And whose blood is this, father,
That of the killer or the killed?
If all blood is the same, father,
Then what did they fight over?
And why is the park bare
And the grass red?”

Poet’s Note –
This was written after a bomb blast at different sites in Mumbai killed many innocent people several years back. It was believed to be a terrorist attack. One of the sites was a park. This poem written about a month after the park is a conversation between a young child who misses his daily visit to the park and cajoles his father to take him back to the park. The poem gives only the child’s part of the conversation – the father’s replies are for readers to guess.

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4 Comments on "Why Is The Grass Red?"

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Nikita Mehendiratta
Member

Sumanthi Sudhakar ji, Loved your Poetry. Initially I thought it’s about the recent earthquake in Nepal. But natural or artificial, tragedy is tragedy.
If all blood is the same, father,
Then what did they fight over?
Why not everyone thinks this way? I feel even God doesn’t know how to answer this. Even he is left speechless over it.

Rohini
Member

Very nice,Sumathi! It’s the child’s side of the conversation that has such an impact. What does he/she know the ‘bad’ways of ‘big’ people. The innocence of the child is heart wrenching and makes us think in what kind of world are we bringing up our children.

I addition to the point of view, the simplicity of the language and the varying length of the stanza too add to the impact.

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