The Borrowed Lullaby

The twelve year old orphan patted the bruise
Hitching up his trousers which were loose.
The bruise looked grim, but to him
Had the contours of a small petal
On his shrivelled body.
Eyes fixed on a bird which looked gaudy
He picked up the aluminium kettle
Looking at an overhead colourful frisbee
Forming elegant arcs ah, he felt heady.

He smilingly poured tea in styrofoam cups
For the customers in his master’s tea shack
In the pathetically littered beach
Which, everyday , to the tiny boy a lesson did teach.

The master often used him for target practice
A good shot, never his target did he miss.
But undeterred by the shooting sprees
His heart beat to the rhythm of some inner choir.
From a nearby eatery , someone belted out
cliched agonies and hackneyed ecstasies
in the name of music.
Which made him feel sick
Quickly, he steered himself to the music of his heart
For was he not Sarju, the optimist?
And in the air he thumped a fist.

Ouch, a shard of glass had pierced his small foot.
He picked it up and held it to the sun.
How it sparkled in the sunbeams
Which lit up his dreams.
In that light he saw himself
Bruises forgotten, cruising
Sitting aloft a frisbee
Feeling so happy and free
Forming arcs over revellers’ heads
And perched with that gaudy bird in the tree
Glowing in its reflected hues
And also swinging in a hammock
Which moved to the rhythm of a borrowed lullaby.

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