Minoti Vaishnav


The Empathy Keeper

(This poem originally appeared in the Spring 2021 Issue of Bricknlight Magazine)




"There's no more demand for empathy," she says.

So it's gone, I think. Well, that makes sense.

People no longer have the drive to possess it.

But it wasn't always this way. I must confess that


once, empathy was The Keeper's bread and butter.

She'd grown it for centuries,

nurtured its elements and energies,

and brought it to the masses where she could.

Though people were reluctant to explore it,

they asked her if they should absorb it...

and she said, yes, they certainly should.


Alas, though. Over the years people decided

they needed it less and less.

There's no use in caring and sharing with others.

The self is all that matters! they said.

So empathy came off the dusty shelf

and even those who once bathed in it let it go.

It began to exist no more.

The tears that once wept whole

lakes into human hearts

have long dried up.


And now it's gone.

She says she doesn't make it anymore.

She's replaced it with greed and indifference,

the world's new best-sellers.

The formula for empathy is long forgotten,

just a distant memory

on a path less trodden.


She tells me now

"there no empathy left."


So stop asking.







Road



I trudge through

snow

on this road

all alone,

thinking of weeds

and flowers that were grown...

then snuffed out.

the road less taken

isn't all it's cracked up to be.


dead end after dead end,

the walls confine,

no help, no friends.

is the destination

worth the hassle?


then I see you,

a guiding light

at the end of the way,

you, a traveler who has already seen

what lies ahead,

your compassion

and your presence

make sure that i

overcome

the barbed barriers

you've already fought.


together,

through the snow,

we walk on, slow.

we move forward

in harmony,

childhood arguments aside,

our memories unite to form

a nostalgic bond.

we carry on,

hand in hand,

towards green meadows,

safe. no longer

at the end of our ropes.

with renewed hope,

we journey on,

free,

still a broken road,

but no longer alone.