Forlorn Lifescapes

a poem by Shernaz Wadia

Loneliness chills
Its canvas frozen
into haunting forlorn lifescapes:
a widow
counting hours by her desolation
hands outstretched achingly
in tortuous dreams
to embrace icy emptiness
her bed fellow.

Abandoned parents
languishing listlessly
sepulchral rooms echoing
their aging heartbeats
funfilled memories brimming
soulful eyes
silent tears
companions of their fading years.

Traumatized sons and daughters
of estranged spouses
befuddled teenagers
measuring life by shattered dreams
misty-eyed seniors
surveying dim vistas
bleak platitudes their sole comfort
on cold park benches.

Friendless, splintered,
emotionally bankrupt hearts
yearning for that one touch of love
a warm hug, a healing caress
a smile of acceptance
a gentle word
a ray of hope or
but a nod of recognition.

we relegate them
to the callous fringes of our lives
we look without seeing them
we listen without hearing them
we rush by them
heedless, apathetic, selfish
enmeshed in sequestered webs
of futile values
unmindful that such acidic neglect
could etch the fabric
of our very own tomorrows
with the selfsame hollowness.