Monday, June 1, 2020


Photo by Tony Lam Hoang on Unsplash
the slum nestles between the
open sewage and the highway
there is a small road coming off the highway
through the slum that you have to take
if you are in a traffic jam.

you will pass by tiny single room dwellings
covered with flimsy corrogated sheets
or bright blue tarpaulins
there will be pots with flowering plants
and clothes hanging out to dry

Then you take a sharp turn and the road yawns into a junction with traffic signal posts and a policeman directing vehicles by
spacious villas with walls unscalably high.

the plump child in the back seat of a porche
in traffic enroute to his villa
is playing a game on his phone.
the car has slowed down
waiting for a goat to cross.
he looks up to check who's
knocking on the car window.
the waif  has one hand pressed against the glass
her eyes squinting for she cannot see in.
the boy calls out to the driver to get the window down
and hands out the extra burger and fries he was too full to eat
and the signal gives a green.

he looks back down to his phone
and looks up and out of the window
he has taken this route everyday
for the last seven years
and never looked out
he sees the quaint little homes
lined up like toys
and he sees the dirt
caked within the
lines on the girls palm
pressed against the glass.

© 2020 Padmavani Karkera
Salvaged from draft dated 2011.

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