Orphans stop waiting

It comes to me from time to time

that moment and that conversation –

a haunting weight I knew even then

would leave a heavier imprint

than one would’ve guessed.

She said to me at the library

as we worked on the art project

how orphans stop waiting

once they get used to the wait

She said she’d watched a documentary

about little abandoned ones

who shied away from human touch

and didn’t react even when hurt

She said it wasn’t so to begin with,

they were like other kids when they came in;

they cried a lot, and played with toys

and fought when they coveted attention

She said, the moment it swung open, creaking,

they turned immediately towards the door-

looked up, expectant, wide eyed, agape

unaware of their precious dolls on the floor

She said, after a few months in there

solitude was their only solace

their dolls the only recipients of their care

and tears shed only when someone threatened that peace

She said orphans stop waiting,

or looking towards the door

they know that no one’s coming

once they’ve lived there some more.

Say, what is family but a guarantee of love?

functional or not, we just need them to love

for most, years go by without any realisation

they squander the chance to show affection

The human soul needs love to survive 

it’s a candle in the wind

it hopes but only for a while

and flits and withers when no one’s coming

And orphans stop waiting,

or looking to the door,

Someday‘ keeps fading from the calendar,

so they hold on to the ‘now


31 thoughts on “Orphans stop waiting”

  1. This is truly heartbreaking and yet I am sure so true. Babies can actually die from lack of touch. Just a truly beautiful piece of writing about a tragic occurrence in many countries. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for making people aware. Love ❤️ to you. 🤗🥰❤️Joni

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so sad and traumatic. Imagine the plight of those children. Feelings actually do go numb after consistent hurt and neglect. It’s the mind’s way of saving itself. I cannot imagine how brave these little souls can be. It’s really a harsh reality. Beautifully written, Isha. Good to have you back. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Feelings actually do go numb after consistent hurt and neglect” – this is exactly what drove me to write this, Terveen. I don’t know how you do it, but your insight is always on point.
      Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This speaks on so many levels – of real orphans who are forced to open up to the wisdom of Now, for there is nothing to wait for or no one to rely on. Of children and adults in physical families with no taste of unconditional love, yet somehow nourished by that version of love available for them in the form of family. You write so deeply beautifully.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I felt sure I commented on this, but perhaps not on WP. It’s heartbreaking. In fact even the title sends a shiver down the spine. At which I read on, and thank you for never shying away from the reality of it all.


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