Poem: Swept Clean Yard

Under the green canopy, dark, brown, damp, void of grass
Yard to the little house, walls of woven bamboo, walls which will never last
Swept to a cleanliness where not a single fallen leaf survives,
Tidiness creates space in the midst of scarcity, so from tiredness the villager revives.

Grey blackish here and there shiny cement floor, and if not, more swept dirt,
A faded photograph of a smiling wedding couple with aesthetics does flirt,
Two rats chase above in the bamboo workings of the ceilingless roof,
The man rocks in his bamboo chair, from the simplicity of his surrounds aloof.

Two grandchildren enjoy the coolness of the blotchy cement
The aroma of tea wafts from the kitchen, one child inside with the drinks is sent
A greyed brown table, three chairs await rice and eggs, and the people who will eat
The man looks out into the village dark, black, bending to rub his worn out feet.

“Bismillah”, whisper man and wife, before fingers turn to spoon and fork
Simple food alivened by ground chilli, garlic and lime, smiles and talk,
Food to be grown for millions demands more tasks for back and legs and eyes and brain,
Bamboo walls, swept clean yard, plain table, such is the pay for the farmers’ pain and strain.

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