Treasure Island

PARTHA SARATHI PAUL

(29-06-1976 / Guskara-Burdwan)

A Drooping Cherub and A Desperate Mother


We were aboard an express-train;
the iron-wheels were racing then.
Things were there as they are ever-
blaring cries from trotting hawkers
frolicking tattles of riotous commuters
amidst restless jerks and often-swerves;
with the robotic centipede gaining motion!
Blank gazes were clambering up and down-
young and old, waiting for the station
counting beads with a child’s patience!
The outside things just fled and flew
on a split-second’s stay like figment-hue!
Who knows when ‘the unruly kite’
slid out through an open window
and teamed up with a rover flight
above a paddy right as if with a task to winnow?
Just then a call came and sounded a thud
and thrust back the escapist and exotic bird!
Back to the senses and back in the place
took some extra time as a duffer or crass;
noticed a mother crying and begging for alms
held a drooping tot in her motherly arms.
As pretty and lovely as any little one
but cut in two halves; one rests and the other gone!
Loud prayer blurred and faded to a murmur:
the poor little thing, born a disease-ridden;
who’l1 stop up the cavity on the little throbbing ticker?
The slim wallet came up and out
humble hand firmly stretched out;
the giver was given a prized alms
the moist eyes greeted the modest ones:
We were aboard the same poor train
and the wheels were hustling yet then!

Submitted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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