The Freight Train

a poem by Christuraj Alex

Countrymen! Sleep! There’s no train here
Condemned as we are, who to fear?

Consider crushed stones the rose bed,
Tracks are soft pillows, place your head.

Haven’t we had many thorns in life?
Have we failed to face any strife?

Like peaceful children, hence, they slept,
Although their souls within them wept.

Wherefrom, like fate, that train appear?
Our deadly tired bodies to tear!

That our so far held breaths to take,
And out of us mere corpses to make!

We know they’ll now investigate,
Brain from reasons to separate!

‘O poor dear countrymen!’ they’ll say,
‘Yet why did you choose the train’s way?’
Thus ends, lo, our life-long labor,
A prey to a lifeless monster!

(“At least 16 migrant labourers were killed early on Friday
after a cargo train ran over them in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district.”)