Friday, July 21, 2006

Time Stands Still over Govandi Station

A kite flutters,
On a high tension wire —
Against a stark blue sky.
A beggar and old mother huddle
On Govandi Railway Station —
The dirtiest station in the universe.

He shows her a plastic watch,
Smiles, “See I have time,”
She, old, gnarled, wrinkled,
Looks through beady eyes,
“I have no need for time.”

Jagged slum roofs puncture the sky,
Open drains stink.
Half clad children toss rubber ball —
In frenzied passion and sloth.

Mother and son —
Hungry, disowned, dispossessed —
They eat and sleep in Govandi station
A plastic bag of muddy clothes beside them,
He extends a begging hand,
A black plastic watch on his wrist,
“God will perform miracles,
If you give poor man rice and roti.”

The kite flutters;
Time stands still over Govandi Station.