Off the Shelf
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The Boy with Obsidian Eyes


Across the vast Serengeti of sands,
A boy there stood between the desert lands.

A boy was born, obsidian his eyes,
Who many times had heard his family’s cries.
A boy so young, his dreams adventures drive,
Was given power over people’s lives.

He bore a gun on back and hand on tags
As stood he looking over body bags.
A knife at hip suggests the lives they take.
But, many other times his hands did shake.

He turned away; so tight he shut his heart.
Resolve was clear in eyes so wide and dark.
If failed he bringing the assigned to death,
His younger brother’d draw a martyr’s breath.

In steadfast manner, now he turned and marched,
Just wanting life devoid of loss—unparched.
The final day of judgment: faced he strife.
They shot and left for dead—inclement life.

He cried…
He cried for parents now departed—gone.

His parents’ warlords forced his hand to kill,
And now a warlord threatened siblings still.

He cried again for loving sister’s war:
A sister raped and made to suffer more.

He further cried for beaten brother prized
Who, living life, will suffer—pain devised.

And then, he cried at length for now himself:
A worthless boy, his deep regrets on shelf.

Of God, he asked, “Why let my people fear?”
The answer made not, though, the water clear.

He closed his eyes, surrendered life—his lease
And slept without a worry troubling—peace.
He knew his time on Earth was over—done—
And nothing more will change this tale so spun.

Srihari Govind (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Pondicherry


I am a medical student in the first year aged 18, studying at Mahtma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute in Pondicherry, India. Love to travel and try new food. Write a bit of poetry and most probably am going to be joining Doctors Without Borders after I finish my studies.