Deepthi Pullarkat

Lost Childhood - Poem by Deepthi Pullarkat

She was all of three feet and crowned with black hair.
She looked up at me.
A cheeky, sparkling, priceless smile played upon her face.
I saw in her eyes
An infinite sea of unconditional love
As expansive as the crimson horizon
As calm as the azure firmament.
Yet they had in them the surprise of a smile.
The beauty of an exquisite orchid.
That smile was devoid of cunning;
Expressing only joy and innocence
As pure and comforting as dawn sunlight.
She held me entranced wither eyes and her smile.
And then she extended to me
her basket of flowers and said,
“Jasmine, five rupees, won’t you buy? ”
I gave her the coin
And fondled the white soft buds.
But what were these buds compared with the bloom within the child?
A bud of great promise;
But denied the right to bloom.
Her tiny feet were cracked
By walking upon her hard road
Paved by the jagged stones of poverty.
She had soot coloured skin
Burnt by the harsh glare or cruelty.
But, worst of all, she suffered
The icy coldness of our indifference.
The cruelty of hearts, that refused to melt with pity and empathy.
The little girl pocketed the money and left
An angel who has lost her heavenward way
A child burdened with adulthood.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, June 9, 2007

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

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