We walk wounded, carrying vicious memories…
When someone, somewhere, sometime – hurt us.
And no matter how many roses adorn our gardens,
In some dark murky corner, we all grow a cactus.
Perhaps those wounds were inflicted early,
When another toddler refused to share his toy.
Or when the first jeers you faced taught you that,
not all laughter was just an expression of joy.
Perhaps it was when bettered by you at the game,
The school bully pushed you down to the ground.
Or when the treasured G.I Joe you mysteriously lost,
Was in your best pal’s bag quite shockingly found.
Maybe it was the day you ran home crying,
And your mother revealed a painful secret…
That not everyone you meet will come to like you,
And you often live through days that you will regret.
When your sincere love for that special friend lost –
to someone’s shallow but flashy counterpart…
You learnt that love is certainly not blind,
And seeks jolly good more than a devoted heart.
While living amongst some of life’s lowest thieves,
Your innocence was one day spectacularly shattered.
Forced to defend what you lived and stood for –
You fought through the slugfest – bruised and battered.
In due time you were force-fed a bitter fruit –
That overprized knowledge of good and evil.
And the shameless duplicity of people hit you hard –
Like life’s hammer striking on your soul’s anvil.
The day you caught someone in a blatant lie –
And their betrayal hurt you with its biting sting…
You learnt that people seldom meant what they said
And that faith was a frightfully fickle thing.
You came to realize when money flexed its muscle
that everything in this world was up for sale.
And when a man’s pockets go really deep…
Even his idiosyncrasies the world will merrily hail.
But no matter when, where or in whatever manner –
Those beasts at whose behest you walk wounded…
Do not have the power to heal you – and never will:
That healing touch is in your own spirit founded.
Even should they acknowledge and repent the hurt
They have exacted on you for all these years…
Only you can find your cactus in that murky corner
And proceed to water it with phoenix tears.
You never really know how strong you are –
Until forsaken by all, you are left all alone.
When forced to pick yourself up off the floor…
You mend what’s broken – flesh, blood and bone.
Yours is the choice to abjectly surrender –
Or to rise and reclaim what was yours all along.
To be tamed by the sound of a Pavlovian whistle –
Or seize the stage and choreograph your swansong.
To be healed doesn’t mean you were never stabbed –
Or there was no damage inflicted by the knife.
It only means you have lived through the pain…
And the damage no longer controls your life.
The blessed gates of heaven will open for you –
If your indomitable spirit prevails over the loss…
For there was one who once walked wounded too,
On His way to crucifixion – and He carried a cross…
NISHANK MEHTA | 21.07.2016