Our Beautiful Zayka

evening-shadows
Black against crimson
A multitude of wings
Ranked in no formation
Reflections and shadows
Cast on ripples below
Engines raised to overtake
Trucks laden beyond capacity
Crumbling roads
Laboring under the onslaught
Of monsoon rains and spinning wheels
Pipes laid with no function
Along earth dug trenches
Forever trenches....
A man squatting against a wall
A lone tamarind tree holds itself
In the midst of dust and fumes
A smoking chulha from a mud hut
A lovely child
Rolling naked in the mud
A cow stares moodily into nowhere... 
Besides her, a dog
Limping to hold up its mangy coat
Headlights flash - a horn bellows
Western cuts and polished shoes within
Passing a laden truck
Birds settle
Rise again
Black against grey
Shadows eat away
The realities of this city
Evening Shades
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~ Shonali Chinniah in Philadelphia, USA.
1999

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