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“Virtual Funeral In COVID-19 World” by Hardarshan Singh Valia


An aged body

With progression of time

Starts preparation for the final journey.

She cleans

Decorates

Attempts to put

Her house in order

For eventual goodbye.

Amidst stay-in-home order in full force

Her soul takes off

Through an open window

While her familiar but deserted streets

Serenaded in unison for her final relay.

Her off-springs

Scattered on different continents

At different time zones

Were informed of the funeral

And the memorial service schedules.

Unable to touch, to place a kiss,

To offer a rose that she loved dearly

Relatives, under flight ban orders,

Resorted to navigate their way

Through jargons of virtual funeral.

While mourning without human touch.

Without embrace, without holding hands

Without consoling each other’s tears

They prayed

“May this not become the new normal!”

Interrupted by the message on the screen

‘Leaving meeting!” and the connection lost.

Outside the window

A dew fell over rose petal

A butterfly fluttered her wings

And on the sidewalk across the house

Under the watchful eyes of a mother

A little girl played hopscotch.

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