Youth’s Resilience

October 14, 2012

Calcutta’s red light district is a cluster of buzzing clatter.
Kochi races down its streets to catch her friend.
Hair waving behind her; tears falling on hot pavement,
leaving a trail of charm.

Pedaling on a stolen bikes, the two friends fly
past police men, merchants with tents,
beggars and pimps.
Mothers are bathing babies on sidewalk steps,
while others count their tips.

In arousing admiration, men consume their liquor.
the suffocating lot now growing thicker.
Behind the two, still, lies a path of charm.

People seem impenetrable, but
the two weave in and out of open spaces,
between haggard faces
like two hands knitting a dress.
A sweet caress of light,

her camera’s flash reflecting passerby’s frozen eyes,
eyes forever seized in her film. Imprinted they’ll
lie on that path of charm.

Her mother, blocks behind, is reapplying lipstick.
She attends the next man to make a meager living
the only way she’s known. “Kochi, it’s the only way you can”.

Words ingrained, questions that stain the children of this alley’s main–
Still clinging her camera, still giggling brilliance,
Kochi, remains unwavering–propelled into significance.

A path, she’s left behind.
She is the power of art, of resilience.
This is her avenue to hope and dream.

2012 © paz