The Village Shopkeeper Poem by Dhiren Doley

The Village Shopkeeper

Rating: 5.0

Quite far from the town
In a small village
People of which called the train a long caterpillar
Where some people smile, some bear fire in the blood
Some faithful and others dishonest
Just like the people from the town
Except the idea of steam-caterpillar;
There was a shop selling cloth, sweets and medicine:
If you have punching head, three tablets a day
If you have angry stomach, three tabs for that too
Same drug with paper differently colored
If you would ask, were they same drugs, the shopkeeper's words
Sweeter than his expired sweets he sold, you object no more.
With the skinny jaw and cheek bones sharp
And nose like a peak
Eyes inside, like holes to hell
Having the goggles hanging on the tip of his nose bone
The old shopkeeper boasted of never returning a customer.
In a bone chewing Sunday morning,
When the shop supposed not to be open
His eloquent defence
"If someone to die with headache
Where to buy a tablet without having my shutter generous",
I asked for a blazer of pink color
Such a loud laughter
As if the sky was torn apart
His mouth opened so that
He can swallow all the stars and told
"Son, I have jackets of black and grey alone
Of finest fabrics"
With disappointment in my breath
I turned the jackets up-down and left-right
And truly speaking
All the jackets were of second-hand
He told me, son walk to the town fifty miles
And hundred back to buy your pink coat.
What a readymade answer of why hundred miles on return
Because for an exhausted body distance is always double.
Better you buy the grey or black, anyway you aren't going
to marry an angel.
To my objection, he insultingly told
"Son, everyone ask for life
But death is only choice
Why don't you bring God into judgement? "
The shopkeeper kept selling his worn out jackets
As if he was going to buy life
With all his earnings black and white

Dr Dillip K Swain 05 January 2021

A wonderful sketch of the life of a shopkeeper... appreciated!

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