Children in Delhi are staring upwards,
listen as they shout, amazed.
“It’s just like in the story books”
I hear one small girl cry.
“I saw the colour once before,
the eye of a peacock feather,”
another shouts and tries to gauge
what this new brightness means.
Yesterday, over Delhi,
tainted taupe and mustard
choked the air and obscured sun,
a sky familiar to innocents.
But today a bright and azure dome
has overcome the city, to test
the memories of older folk,
who recall long gone days
when blue skies were the norm.
The noxious fumes of modern Delhi
have stolen light and hidden sights
that in an old man’s memory,
once glorified the city’s fame.
Today’s horizon conjures days,
that in the past were commonplace.
But children now look to old men
and ask them to explain,
why the years are rolling back
and skies are blue again.
But here’s the rub.
The lethal smog that too long,
scourged and stifled lungs,
and choked the breath from Delhi’s
gasping citizens, has taken flight.
Ousted by an enemy unseen, extreme,
that cleared the clouds of poison
and in its stead has brought a new
Grim Reaper, brightly cloaked in blue.
Cleverly disguised as hope
but bringing death to millions.
Perhaps one day the children.
who late have seen those skies
of sapphire, pellucid and blue,
may find this unexceptional.
Just like in the story books
or the pheasant’s feather eye.
And when they do let us hope,
the cause may be a change in man
and not the advent of another curse.
~ Richard Rose