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Burning Towns

Flakes of ash fall like snow
Dusting the eyelashes of onlookers
The embers sparkle – beacons of hope
Except they are traps of despair
The burning town is silent

Save for
The crunch of feet on burnt wood
A soot-stained hand in the drizzle of white
The burning town is alive

For the souls of the dead still, breathe
The flickering embers egged on by their dying breaths
The dancing flames
A bygone memory of merriment and scuffed silk slippers

And now
The ash
Untouched, pristine
The soft bed underneath which these souls sleep
And soot-stained faces of onlookers,



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Malavika Menon

Grade 12, Global Public School, Ernakulam, Kerala

Junior Research Analyst

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