Over the pile of rubbish, sits a two year old
shrieking with glee as his hands toss egg-shells,
toffee wrappers, orange peels, cans of coke.
The wealth of textures, colors, smells
differs from the grumbling sensation he shares
with seven others in their one-room home.
In the pile of rubbish, a seven year old forages for buns,
half-eaten bananas, unfinished soda drinks & thanks
heavens for providing abundant food. The teenager hunts
for sacks, shirts, torn socks, handkerchiefs, underwear, rags.
These tatters of overused linen that fill her plastic bags
her mother will sew into blankets,
or mattresses or jholas or garments.
Within the pile of rubbish are books, bags, pens, gaskets,
utensils, beer bottles, toothbrushes, shoes, combs, fragments
of furniture, electronic goods, scrap metal, love-letters, baskets,
pencils, newspapers, and their father cannot stop lecturing
about the poetry of the waste, of lotuses in the muck,
of a famous future that he dreams of unearthing
for the children in that very garbage-heap one day.
Indian Literature | Indian Review Author | Vivek Sharma‘s first book of verse The Saga of a Crumpled Piece of Paper (Writers Workshop, Calcutta, 2009) was shortlisted for Muse India Young Writer Award 2011. His work in English appears in Atlanta Review, Bateau, Poetry, The Cortland Review, Muse India, Reading Hour among others while his Hindi articles and verses appear in Divya Himachal (Hindi newspaper, India), Himachal Mitra and Argala. Vivek grew up in Himachal Pradesh (Himalayas, India), and moved to the United States in 2001. Vivek is a Pushcart nominated poet, is published as a scientist and he lives and teaches in Chicago.