The Impoverished Beauty Queen

The Impoverished Beauty Queen
There walks the
Beauty Queen,
The lissome,
Long-legged lass,
With size zero,
Collecting the items in the garbage bins,
Littering the rich urban streets;
The thin rag-picker
Wearing faded clothes,
A bursting haversack
Bending her back slim,
The tall woman,
Tousled brown
Matted hair,
Sunken cheeks,
Listless eyes,
Parched lips.
Still managing to
Walk with pride and feminine grace,
Amid heaps of domestic waste,
Where the well-fed and obese will
Never venture out;
That her fields
Where this hard-working
Unseen creature gambols easily,
Picking up the discarded piece after piece,
In her junkie husband’s eyes,
She is no less than any
Beauty Queen.
The only difference—
And that counts,
Says the abusive man,
These spoilt dolls walk the
International ramps for money;
My queen,
The coughing and often ill,
Walks the
Mountains of garbage
Her kids anemic
Her lord and master—
That is,

This entry was posted in Poetry on by .

About Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 22 published books: Seven collections of poetry; three of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA: For more details, please visit the website:

6 thoughts on “The Impoverished Beauty Queen

  1. Louis Kasatkin

    Acutely,almost forensically observed poem which for this reader lays bare the present day predominance of consumerism and the fetishisation of individuals,.i.e.”the beauty queen”, as if social individuals were constructed outside of the social relations of production and consumption themselves in some idealised state.

    1. Sunil Sharma

      More than my poems, I enjoy the intellectual import of your erudite comments, O, Great Louise Kasatkin!

  2. Lokesh Roy

    This poem at once cools the mind because of it’s no-nonsense approach to an otherwise make-believe world of nouveau riche.Very matter- of -fact.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.