Poems by Vaishnavi Prasad

The Riddle

a poem by Vaishnavi Prasad

The essence of Egypt and a symbol of pride,
For thousands of years its glory hasn’t died,
The Sphinx of Giza, its glorious name
Around the world has popularity and fame.
The body of a lion with the head of a God
Its feet enclose the Stela like a pod.
Days go by as you stare and wonder,
“What wakes this creature, lightning or thunder?”
And then your wonder of those many days,
Turns to awe as a live Sphinx says,
“Don’t answer and I’ll make your life blue,
Answer my question and your dreams come true”
And then this puzzle it sets before you.
This is it! You just have a minute or two.
“What has four feet in the morning
Two less not more at mid-day
And three it has in the evening?
Tell me the answer, this I pray.”
One thing you ought to know
Is that, in the land of Egypt if you go,
And face a live Sphinx if you can,
Don’t you forget, the answer, is ‘MAN’.

The Wall Climber

a poem by Vaishnavi Prasad

He’s green and tiny and climbs on the wall.
He’s a really good climber although he’s very small.
He’s fast and speedy which makes him hard to catch
Although he’s no bigger than a lighting match
He sheds his tail when he is in trouble
And runs away, but never does he stumble.
If you see him you’d chase him with a broom
Can you guess who he is? He’s the baby lizard in my classroom!

The Day I Lived

a poem by Vaishnavi Prasad

I woke up to the morning light,
I had studied hard all last night,
For the next day I had an examination
I studied the wars and battles of time
And learnt years and dates sublime
And events that had happened in this great nation

My room was as bare as it could ever be.
My things- I could not see.
All was gone. So out of my room I rushed.
And there, in a corner, sat my mother,
Weeping beside my bawling brother,
In a house filled with a silence that was hushed.

And there were my relatives from afar,
I went to greet them with my arms ajar
But not one word did they say to me at all.
Disappointed, at them I shouted
Only more tears would come I doubted
But still, they acted as if I wasn’t there- standing tall.

Frustration climbed upon me,
“I am here! Can you not see?”
I asked, filled with so much anger that I cried.
But then I realized, why
I wasn’t noticed when walking by.
The reason? Simple. I, had died.

The Cry of the Unborn Child

a poem by Vaishnavi Prasad

It’s strange how fate plays,
Life’s game in many ways
And chose it’s field on my life.
And like ritual magic
It is indeed tragic
That I had to be a sacrifice.

I never had expected
That I would be rejected
For I found out something so sad!
My mother didn’t want me
And so, she disowned me
And now she’s turning very bad.

I wish I could tell her,
What in life I would prefer.
To live or to die? She didn’t ask!
If only I could live,
My talents I would give
And soon in wealth I would bask!

I don’t have a choice,
But at least I have a voice
To tell anyone who will hear-
How it feels like for me to know
That I will not live anymore
And not be able to shed a tear

I hope you’re listening
Mom, I hope something rings
When I try and tell you this:
“Inside your womb
Mom, don’t build my tomb!
The joys of life I don’t want to miss.”