The Jujuba Fruit Seller - Poem by Ramesh Iyengar
Much aged was she.
Age arched her body forward.
Wrinkles on face writ by time, declare her age.
Hanging udders, bare.
Her wicker basket full with jujube fruits,
all little bright red, round, shining, enticing.
Sold for money, bartered for rice.
‘ One measure for two. You sell? ’ we asked.
‘No, one for one. ‘
‘Aye, aye, quick, bring it here.Got many houses.
The day is hot ’ she whined.
We rushed inside. Brought quarter measure grains,
filling our vessels with plump, sour goodness,
those little sweeties with labour plucked,
as steely thorns pricked,
from bushes in western hills.
All sweet, sour, together mixed,
drooling at our mouths.
Much remained untasted, dried over the days next.
Each week, these little delights brought,
bartered, filling her cloth bag with rice.
The old dame seen no more, these days.
Nor any wicker baskets of fleshy, little jujube full.
Cruel economics of growing times sabotaged old dames..
Only to see apples from L.A., NY or Calif.
with thin stickers declaring capitalist’s imperial voices.
- - S. Ramesh
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