Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calling me..

Sweat mingled with curry on smoky air,
humanity overflows at every turn.
Tunics and turbans. Punjabis and saris. Lehengas, salwar kameez.
Color. Color everywhere. A rainbow bursting from every crowd.

Naked toddlers, bellies bulging,
A people malnourished from rice alone.
Cattle wander loose and honored.
Pots filled with water to lure them near,
hoping they'll bring good luck with their thirst.

Painfully skinny, men run barefoot, down the rock strewn road.
Pulling rickshaws full of boxes and people. Delivery trucks. The human kind.

Chickens so lean they resemble road runners,
scatter in panic,
from those that would twist their necks.
Tonight one may lay on the table.
By tomorrow, nothing but feathers and bones.

Glorious chalk art filling the road,
leading the way to windowless dwellings.
Protection from evil, honoring gods.
Every god and no god, even the unknown god.
Lest they miss one
and in anger it reign down disaster on their home.

They walk to the well, pots balanced. Amazing.
The beautiful women, as slender as reeds.
They walk, hope balanced heavy on their hearts,
for food and clean water, that their babies might live.

Beauty and poverty abound in this land
of lovely, gracious people.
They offer you the honored seat at their table.
Cook their last egg and smile as you eat it.

Later they'll go to their bed mat and lay listening
as hunger, in it's dialect of pain,
speaks in their bellies once more.

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