Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The 8.30 a.m. Train Girl

Like ghosts passing by day and night

Each day we come into each other’s sight

In the train stations of our life

No sindoor; you aren’t anyone’s wife.

Talcum on your face, kohl-lined eyes

Bindi on forehead, a walk that defies

The world and its ways; all your needs:

A man, a bedroom, a kitchen, some threads.

In the search for this ersatz world

You don’t know why the world is cold

For your sweetness that never fails

You must suffer the men who cavil.

My advice: Beware of their devious ways

They rape with eyes, whistle their life away

They blackmail, lie, promise to say the vow

And then go looking for their wild oats to sow.

They would touch you in the crowd

Pinch where it hurts, make gestures crude

Or, stalk you, blank call you, write obscenities

In toilets, trains, anywhere they can print lies.

Through storms and floods your train must pass

Your phone’s no comfort, no, even in first class

No machine can help against nature’s fury

Even when tears make your sight turn blurry.

This 8.30 a.m. train’s a vile place to be

Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you, you’ll see

And when you are smarter, your world more settled

Remember this day, and the verse a fan composed.