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Showing posts from September, 2005

Dignity

Nine-yard saree
fading in the sunlight
borne with grace.
Brow bent with age,
with wrinkles of poverty.
Eyes squint,
item is held close to face
to determine what it is. "Thirty rupees.
Very good material, Sir.
Will hold water. For ages."
I paid the amount instantly.
As I walk away,
I steal a quick glance. Old woman, frail but proud.
Proud of a day's hard labour.
Of her keep honestly earned.
A bit of kumkum, some flowers,
the last of her green bangles. I look at me.
Levis, Adidas, Clavin Klein.
I would give my fortune
for the dignity she exudes.
Published in South Asian Poetry Review 26 (3); 2005