Pandemic, a poem

13 February 2023, by Riya Kartha

We may forget sometimes the depth and complexity of the roots that bind us all to one another. I wrote this poem as a reminder and a prayer, to keep in mind how interconnected we are as living beings on this planet. If one small action, an offhand decision taken by one person or a group of people can lead to worldwide consequences which have enduring repercussions on the planet, then I think it underscores the responsibility for each of us to look inward more often. To create an inner self that is so strongly mired in the knowing that we cannot hope to exist without one another. That without the other, there is no self, and that within each person is a heart that is capable of embracing the hearts of all.





May this virus awaken us

to all the fragile, invisible links

by which life binds us.

May we wake each day

in the knowing that

we rise with the earth

and all who live on it.

May we sleep in the understanding that

we never truly dream alone.

That in our suffering and in our stories,

in our silence and in our songs,

to each other we are bound.

May we be reminded that

the smallest of our actions

live long into the future,

May we see with great clarity

the very truth of our lives-

our privilege, our indifference,

our apathy, our greed,

but also, our resilience, our kindness,

our grace, our beauty.

And when we have seen

all there is to see,

may we be awakened

to the writing on the wall-

that in everything I do,

I am responsible for us all.