The Last Day of August

They shake their heads grimly

Eight stern eyes follow her heaving chest,
A hand shoots forward to feel her feeble pulse,
She’s barely there, a wretched existence;
Plagued with a disease the poor can’t afford,
She peeps at us through her half-closed lids,
And attempts a weak smile for her saviors.
Her knight in shining armor had left at fifteen,
Impregnating her with a son at thirteen,
The son abandoned her at twenty-eight.
Mere numbers became agonizing milestones.
Her wrinkled mother seated at her side,
Pats the hand of a daughter without a youth.
The rush in the general medicine ward,
Masks their sighs and silent tears.
I look away; it is just another ‘case’,
One I can afford to allot ten minutes everyday,

Ten minutes that haunts me the rest of the day,

Her mother searching a sign of hope in my eyes.
The doctors pronounce their verdict,
A day till she leaves covered in a shroud.

I knew it would happen, but it breaks me,

5:45am, 31st August, 2010;
I check her death certificate,
She died an old woman of 30.

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