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A Chunk Of Sky

Rating: 5.0
Every day, every night,
Every minute, every second,
Every moment in my life,
a dream haunts me
like the Sea with his waves
that recedes but returns
with force
to beat his head
on my chest.
And me dream a dream
to have a life
with a full meal at least once a day,
a decent roof above my head,
a cosy bed to repose,
a pair of shoes,
a nice dress to wear,
a school where I can learn,
and a little time to have a lot of fun.
But my dream recedes
like a mirage in the dusty dreary desert
and every morning I set out
to scrounge heaps of slag
slinging my plastic bag
on my shoulder
so tender.
Don't you know, I'm a rag picker?
My slum is my heaven
with cramped hovels
with crumbling walls
wobbly doors,
no windows
with roofs of tin and tarpaulin
having innumerable holes
that show us our sky and sun
stars and moon.
Away from the grassland and river,
sunshine and fragrance of flowers,
muddy stinking lanes
choked with garbage,
no sewerage,
taps with no water to drink,
my sky is my roof's chink.
My life is a moonless night,
my day is full of scorching heat,
a murky life is mine
full of abuse, kicking and slapping
sans love and kissing.
A stooping figure
with burden of custom,
a crippled form
with bone peeping through skin
I move bare feet
from lane to lane,
street to street,
bus stand to railway station.
The garbage no more stinks,
the street dogs are my friends
I'm a perfect artist in scrounging,
my heart fills with immense pleasure
when I unwrap the gifts of wonder
my priceless treasure.
Garbage is my bread and butter,
garbage is the roof above my head.
How wonderful is this garbage!
Sometimes I get toys, though broken,
sometimes I get precious coins,
edible leftovers on leaf plates
that I have to fight with dogs to eat.
I'm a bud crushed before blooming,
I'm a rabbit trapped in a snare of truth
with no chance of escaping.
I see children with schoolbags and uniform
and how they gleefully play and run!
How smart and happy they look!
Can anyone give me a break?
I also need a chunk of sky!
A patch of green grass!
A ray of sunshine!
Hey!
I am waiting here
scourging for hope and happiness
love and life in the garbage!
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
Child labour is a curse which must be eradicated for the progress of the society.
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COMMENTS
Varsha M 24 February 2021
Ma'am your poem is profound. So beautifully captured the agonizing poverty shackled little garbage boy. Yes even he is authorised for the chunk of sky he dreams into my favourite
0 0 Reply
Robert Murray Smith 24 February 2021
Child labour reflects badly on any society that allows it. India is a prime example.
0 0 Reply

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