Aug 06, 2021
Last week I came across a street. It was quiet and serene, Dappled with a gasoline leak. I stared at the rainbow glare Bright though the night was dark, Marveling at the multi-chrome In the foam of polluted rain puddles. A lone pair of headlights Shone suddenly down the road. And in the flash of chrome, I shielded my eyes As the tires cried To a halt on the asphalt. And for a moment, I just stood staring at the beams Glaring in the air Slightly quivering, focused On my shivering frame. The tires rolled silently past, But in the flash of headlights That lingered for a moment longer I could see for the first time On the road, a sheen of broken glass Sparkling in the rainbow gas. When I looked down, The street was indeed scarred By a crown of red-stained shards. It was gory, but the story It painted acquainted a viewer With a sort of stunning glory. It was a bloody scene But seemed so beautiful in a way. Cut to the other side of the city Inside the gritty underpass of a highway Where grey grass grows scantily. A young man lies With his hands between his thighs To keep out the cold That has taken a hold Of his bare feet on the concrete. He silently watches the road As the traffic flowed From downtown to the suburbs Where others have homes. But he’s roamed the roads His whole life. And twice said goodbye To loved ones who died. See, he grew up on the streets-- Nothing to his name And never really knowing who to blame. At the moment, he’s choked With relentless hopes Trying to prevent this ocean Of fireless emotion he feels. He feels confined, Like he’s losing his mind. So he starts to sing. The tune is eerie and slow And wearily flows over the road. A stranger on the other side of the street Decides to pause for a moment And listen To the glistening music And she thinks It’s a strange melody But a remedy to her bad day And just so beautiful, in a way. Cut to a young girl in India A few decades ago Who plays in the shade Of a bay leaf tree In the city of Kharagpur. She’s quiet and innocent And spent the day Hiding from the house maid Because she was afraid To look at the maid’s face. The maid was a burn victim And on her left side, Where her skin had been Was nothing but charred scars, Burned and blackened. But the young girl never heard What had really happened. She had been told it was a “Gasoline accident,” But years of wonder spent, She learned that it wasn’t An accident at all, But the maid’s attempt At a gruesome escape From a husband that raped and beat her. That young girl was my mother. And she’s got endless other stories too. But when she told me this one, She said how much she misses that woman And how she wishes she could go back in time And help her. She says she would no longer be afraid To look at the maid’s face Because despite the scars and the gasoline, She is the most beautiful human My mother has ever seen.