Girl, 10

She stands out in the crowd
A frail figure in a weathered dress
Her unsmiling eyes older than she is
Like whirlpools in which slowly drown
Mud-caked reveries, one by one.
Her dusky skin blessed by a thousand suns,
She carries bricks, not flowers, on her head
To decorate someone’s personal palace
And now she knows that her overseer
Stares at her like he stares at her mother
With an unmistakable glint and a betel-stained smirk.
The bangles wrapped around her slender wrist
Break into pieces when he barks: In a world
Where we have lost touch with the voice inside our head – –
Another child whose childhood passed her by.
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About VijayNair

I retired as Associate Professor, Department of English, Government Victoria College Palakkad, Kerala. I taught English Language and Literature in various colleges for 31 years. My Ph.D. thesis was on the plays of Wole Soyinka. My collections of verse include "The City and the Hermitage" (1988), "Doors Swing Open" (2008), "Eyes" (2010) and "Whispers of Light in Darkness" (2013). My poems have also appeared in the International Anthologies "I am a Poet" (2013), "With Love" (2013), "Synthesis" (2014) "Poetic Symphonies" (2015) and "Heavenly Hymns" (2015).

6 thoughts on “Girl, 10

  1. John A Fingleton

    I found this a most touching poem Vijay, I have seen this in other places in Africia, and recently I watched a series on Al Jazeera, on child slavery in different parts of the world…….there was one about bricking making in Pakistan, which showed how one debt is transferred from one generation to another..I thought very sad.

  2. Lokesh Roy

    It is a brutally selfish world…….” Where we have lost touch with the voice in our head “. Can not agree more with that line of your’s Mr Vijay .


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