Free Verse Poetry

Back to the Pavilion

The girl across the street is beaming,
Giving away smiles to the passers-by;
Her face is a black, brightened platter,
And her pupils,
Each as dark as her perspiring skin,
Resemble travellers in an ocean,
Only a few weeks ago, the girl was shedding tears,
Tears that could flood the street she’s now in;
Penniless, she was roaming the lanes,
Her mane more unkempt than a horse’s,
Walk an emu’s,
Talk likened to that of a madman.
But now, the teen’s mien is brightened;
Bearing two loads of books on her back,
She’s walking the path not trod for several months by her.

The Sun’s glistening upon her oiled hair
While her frock, polka-dotted and unwashed, is kissing her knees.
Many onlookers are school goers uniformly dressed,
Some are men and women hurrying to work,
A few are beggars with shirts torn, shorts too soiled;
The girl though has journeyed from desolation to delight
As her walk is now sheer energy,
Look power, not downcast anymore,
Charm a thief, one that steals hearts.
Orphaned at the age of two,
The girl has never known or seen her parents;
She knows not what it’s like to have a family.
Forced is she to make ends meet.

Her legs are now treading artfully,
Stopping once she reaches her destination;
She’s content, for schools are now reopened,
Gladdened is she at the prospect of
Meeting new students,
Friending youngsters,
Andโ€ฆ making money.
She has never been to school though.
The hawker has only heard about schools and colleges;
She knows she will never be able to attend either.
Now unloading the loads she has carried for long,
– Books, pens, sheets of paper unfurled –
She hopes to make good money by shouting them out;
Her first customer’s a disheartened lad,
One heading to school after a ten-month break.

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay | FOR REPRESENTATION PURPOSES ONLY

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