Family Business


Shiny long strings of metal

Lay piled in a heap.

Standing proudly beside it was

A bursting sack of coal

Adorned with black bruises.

She guarded them closely

Sitting on her haunches

The dusky Indian beauty

Clad in a blouse and sari

As fluorescent as could be.

Powdered coal lined her fingernails,

Smudged kohl lined her eyes.

Loud words escaped her mouth

Yet her hands worked effortlessly.

The method was fixed,

Her movement was rhythmic.

Pick a piece of coal,

Choose a string of metal,

Join them together

And then hurl them into the heap

Of already paired products.

The other woman continued

What she had begun

And stabbed a plump lemon

With the string of metal

Its essence oozing out.

Then added to its corpse

A few green chillies.

The loose end of the string

Was then shaped into a hook

And the production was complete.

Baking in the hot sun

They scuttled between traffic

Tapping every window

With their tiny fingers

Coaxing and pleading

Convincing and insisting

They tried to sell

What their mother had produced.

After each sale they smiled

With their startling white teeth

Decorating their faces

Like lanterns in huts.

Superstition isn’t always

Futile it seems.

It fills a few stomachs too.

The sun settles into the sea

And their family business

Of casting off evil eyes

Shuts down for the day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s