Waiting for dawn


Dust settles, patting down the arid valley.
Laps of waiting mothers entice
dusty little feet from the muddy alleys.
Birds crowd the rustic sky,
covering the trees in twittering hundreds.
The grocer puts out a sturdy bench,
the street corner is now an eatery.
The lone streetlight blinks its neon eye
and the orange sun dives into the sea.
The dutiful daughter-in- law has bathed
as all the inquisitive neighbours now know
for the tiny earthen lamp near the tulsi glows.
Chants emanate from wrinkled souls,
merging with sighs of creaky joints,
mingled with historical rote readings for civil exams.
Panipat’s battle was fought in Panipat
in case you didn’t know.
He snores on a knotted rope cot.
She sits amidst slightly burnt, unshapely rotis,
cleaning out the kitchen store.
Blissful childhood dreams on school satchels
smeared with sticky, plastic super heroes.
Cows, water and hair; fed, boiled and oiled.
Hearth lamp dies pouting holy, acrid fumes.
Another selfless day fades into oblivion as
a forgotten village  in Odisha|
awaits yet another sun.

©Reena Prasad
26th Feb 2011
Published in Tripping on words : a literary atlas-Brian Wrixon

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