(Not) Just Saying (Poem)

Maybe this exam wasn’t meant
For you to score a hundred percent
Maybe not an eighty, nor a fifty
That’s how they’d made this to be.

Maybe this wasn’t meant to be easy or fair
But to see, my child, if you would hang in there;
Till the last bell rang, till the fat lady sang.
To see how much disappointment you can take.
To find out how many times your heart can break,
And yet fail to break you.

When your friends outside shriek and laugh
Yet there’s an hour left, says the clock,
When there’s none left in your row,
None in the room, none on the block –
Do you still carry on? Fight the good fight?
Not give up searching for the faintest ray of light?

Maybe this wall was never made to be scaled
But to gauge your grit, even when you failed.
Some tests, know this, are just meant to test
What you do, when you know you just can’t best.
Do you shout, and cry and curse?
Call the whole thing an useless farce?

Or do you remember the promises you made? The word you gave,
To be good, and always brave.
Show the ones who be watching –
Those weren’t empty words you’d said,
But meant them true, even when you bled.

– Avik Kumar Si

December 2017