“Virtual Funeral In COVID-19 World” by Hardarshan Singh Valia
An aged body
With progression of time
Starts preparation for the final journey.
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.
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
“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.