Fading Picture of an Unknown Beggar Girl

Memories of a train ride where some passengers taunted a little beggar girl.

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Fading Picture of an Unknown Beggar Girl
Settling down on my seat,
For the long journey ahead to my college town,
With a book in my hand
To drown the hustle and bustle of passengers,
All along the platform, up and down.
Single dim light bulb trying it’s best to
Banish the creeping dark shadows of dusk.
Hawkers peddling their wares, shouting
To be heard over the din of multilingual sound.
Sudden commotion,
A rush to the window by few fellow travellers,
Distracted me from my book.
Turned my head
What’s their object of interest,
I wanted to look.

There, extending one of her shriveled hand,
Barely reaching the window,
Tiny, little beggar girl,
May be hardly in her teens,
Begging.

Tattered pieces of cloth over her distended belly,
Her malnourished body uncovered,
One hand clutching a bundle of rag to her chest,
A days old baby latched to her breast.

What demons had sacrificed
This little girl on their alter of lust?
Robbing her childhood,
Her innocence and  sanity lost.
Forcing her to beg.

Oblivious to the lustful gaze of the animals
At her exposed breasts,
Her sanity long gone,
From window to window she moved,
Pitiful eyes scanning the faces inside,
Silently begging for food.

Oh, the sense of shame and guilt,
My helplessness at the behavior
Of my fellow human beings,
Unable to stop their
Lustful glances and taunts.
 
As I tried to get her a packet of food,
Train whistled and picked up speed.
It delivered me from my torment,
That haunting pictured etched in my mind.

The face had faded long before
The picture is slowly fading.
Even the passing of several decades
Have not erased the shame and guilt.

Author: pranabaxom

Poetry is my passion. I am not a methodical writer. I have no set topics to write about. What I feel, perceive, think about, I will like to share in this blog. I open my mind to the world. Like the weather, sometimes my poems are cloudy, sometimes stormy. I always like to see sunshine streaming through the leaves of trees, so I hope I can share some of those sunshine with my readers.

19 thoughts on “Fading Picture of an Unknown Beggar Girl”

  1. Hi,
    I like your photo. I am always trying to improve my blog photography.
    I’m Janice. I blog over at mostlyblogging.com. I met you at Jacqueline’s party. Maybe you can check out my blog. I offer blogging tips and I host 10 blog parties a month including meet and greets like Jacqueline where you could find new readers for your poems.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry my comment got sent before I was done typing. To big a thumb for small mobile keyboard. By photo, do you mean the photo on the front page of my blog? It was taken by me during a high Sierra hiking in 2014.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Did you use an iPhone or a digital camera? When you get some my blog, you will see I am having a blog party like Jacqueline. I hope you Will leave a link and participate.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I visited your site and tried to comment but get an error message saying the page is not found. Not sure what is the issue. Will try to log out from WordPress and sign in again.

        Liked by 1 person

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