I’m just a year and a half old
and am constructing this huge shopping mall.
Here I am sitting in the shade of a bush
by the side of the towering structure
to which my mother carries the mixture
of gravel and sand and cement
in a grating crater on her head.
When I’m hungry, I wail loud.
That’s when mother comes
and makes me stand on a wall,
opens her blouse,
and pops a nipple into my mouth,
her one hand behind my back
and the other holding the crater.
It’s my hunger that builds the mall.
PS. I wrote this poem some ten years ago when I watched a mother stopping to feed her child at a construction site in Delhi. The photo was taken a few years later while walking through Bhatti Mines, a part of Delhi that has palatial ashrams belonging to godmen and also slums where people struggle to make both ends meet.
Anyone interested in a free pdf copy of my book, The Nomad Learns Morality, is welcome to contact me.