The Woman Vegetable Vendor
She pulls her handcart through her dream-debris.
Now her PhD is just an agonizing adornment.
She’s been denied white-collar jobs for religious
reasons. Even a name is flammable in the fanatic
drought. Here religion doesn’t purify, but petrify.
Yet she surfaces, scuba-diving through her secret
sorrows. The toot of hunger from her children’s
stomachs keeps her installed in the masked street.
They come again to drive her away – this time,
under the pretense of the pandemic protocol. She
protests vehemently in English . The crowd is enticed
by her fluency in the foreign language. Her molten
emotion spurts. Hers is never an artificial countenance
of a contestant in a beauty pageant. Her words are not
tomatoes and potatoes, but the hottest red chillies.
Will the dark rubber eyes see her close-cropped life?