A hut with a cool floor 

smeared with cow dung 

an earthen pitcher with cold water 

a tin can, its upper lid missing 

an old sack to sleep on 

Shelter for a body

A palace for a soul. 

Eyes shone on spotting a meal 

while he carried earth upon his shoulders 

till one day he looked up at the sky 

at a concrete dream 

A colourless glass mutely reflecting 

the moods of the sky 

but he could never see 

for hunger had skedaddled to become greed

A dark deed done in the dead of night 

A candle flame blown, he reaped a wad of notes 

A bare hut had no place to hide 

the sickly sweet fruits of ripening sin 

multiplying inside that thatched cocoon 

till the miasma spread beyond 

needing suits to cover the rotting soul 

A spanking new villa had to rise 

from the pyre of a departed soul


He stands at a penthouse window 

drawing faces on the now lackluster glass 

The shining city lights around the slum 

mock his restless thoughts 

A figure dances in the night’s shadows 

its last breath hot upon his neck 

He feels the acrid fumes of death choke him 

he dreams of the cool waters of the mud pitcher 

He longs for the taste of undrunk water 

his thirst becoming a soulless drain 

A soul that flew away had returned to stay 

Death was but a return to the hut

 ©Reena Prasad


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