Child imprisoned

Beneath the
Ballooning branches
Of a dripping Margo tree,
Stands he—
The seller of the plastic-covered
Vegetables, on a rude and gasping
Handcart, near the pavement dirty.

The thin ten year old vendor, empty eyes,
Wearing a hand-me-down,
A size too big for his skinny frame,
Stands in the heavy rain.

There is no traffic as such,
Along the wet road,
The sober boy looks around,
Bored stiff.

He splashes in the thick puddles
And then freely prances around.

Seen from a top window,
Dancing the way kids
Dance in the rains everywhere.

He gallops, throws pebbles in the
Puddles, drenched to his bare bones.

A female customer
Appears and inspects
The veggies.

The kid, immediately underground,
Instead, emerges the responsible
Quiet adult, because
It is now — business time.

Sunil Sharma is Toronto-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 23 published books: Seven collections of poetry; four of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, nine 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 here Read other articles by Sunil, or visit Sunil's website.