The Happy Ragpicker

Over the garbage can bursting at the seams
With unhealthy wealth
He bends his fragile frame
With the sack slung over a skeletal shoulder
Unhealthy his health.

His eyes scour the dense drapery of the creepers
Green and glossy
Deliciously quivering in the breeze
Hanging over walls of mansions where sleep the sleepers.
The whole surface of the house shivers and rustles.
Rustles and shivers.
His brow troubled , he thinks
And alas, his heart sinks.
His shack is mean and mossy
And the owner , lean and bossy.
His house also shivers
When the breeze rustles.
Ah , how it shivers.
His sister waits at home
Not for a generous fairy or gnome
But for her brother dear
Who with one grimy hand will wipe her tear.
Sad and forlorn.
His eyes fixed on
A muscular man in the lawn
On that cold morn
Who does push ups and flaunts his muscles.
And the tree rustles.

He is mesmerized by this vertical sea of green
Which the breeze ruffles into wavelets.
The muscular man with the golden bracelets
Eyes him with contempt.

Ah ,with a throb his heart leapt
He picked up a half eaten apple and pocketed it.
In his eyes a serendipitous
gleam .
A sleek , Mercedes cruises past , looking like a roseate
Not dazzled by the gleam of the dream
Which just passed him by
Splashing muddy water over his clothes tattered
Oh it hardly mattered
When his wealth was in his pocket
Of what use to him was the gold locket
Adorning the neck of the owner of the dream
On wheels
Ah happy he feels.
Ah sis, here I come
A happy song the rag picker starts to hum.
Let the world mock it
His dream lay snug in his pocket.

6 thoughts on “The Happy Ragpicker

  1. Santosh Post author

    Thanks a ton for your edifying comment,Louis. I see this rag picker everyday, and he always has a smile on his face, come what may.

  2. Lopa Banerjee

    This is such a searing, poignant poem that crushed my heart to bits!! But in spite of your honest, vivid depiction of poverty and the world’s mordant indifference, the nectar of Hope and love in the heart of the ragpicker shines through, and makes him incredibly redeeming at the end! More power to your pen, dear friend!


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