Faceless in India

there in the quiet of his heart

past faceless crowds, commuters

undecipherable newsprint

flickers of shabby buildings viewed

through clicking windows of this

swaying morning train


a little woman stands silhouetted

broom in hand sweeping dust

from underneath an iron bed

lifting its red and purple coverlet

embroidered with peacocks and

elephants, stooping she scoops

dust into a plastic pan, turns and

looks at him, mouths a few words

cherished and polished across

the years like silver candlesticks


he smiles, closes his eyes

neither sees nor hears the cries

of a young woman ravished

in an adjoining carriage

by a bunch of faceless men

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© Johnmichael Simon