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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 1 New Delhi December 23, 2017 - Annual Number

The Trapped Spirit

Sunday 24 December 2017

This is my broom
and that is your world.
I clean your yards and roads.
Red in blood oozing from your beatings
I clean your yards and roads.
These are your rags and litter, not mine;
I own nothing to show wasteful habits
—cartons, wrappers, Greeting cards, food platefuls
All I can show is the blood dripping from my body.
Centuries of beatings are consecrated in
the chantings of Manu
(They ‘tut tut’ in papers and on TV)
while my blood mingles with my sweat
as I clean your yards and roads.

My feet are sore
My hands are red
My face lacerated
My conscience numb
My eyes are blazing
My mind is shamed

A raging ball of fire in a helpless body
My spirit leaps in the sky
And churns up the oceans
It sizzles the air
and illuminates vast spaces
yet it finds itself trapped in a helpless body
Beaten by holy hands
oozing blood

it holds the broom
and cleans your yards and roads.

Sharad Rajimwale

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