Prabhakar Subramaniam


A terrible fire


The girl next door

Couldn't stand hunger,

She howled for food,

When her mother

Beat her up

All the time shouting

'There's nothing to eat

Wait till father comes home.'

I signalled her

To come over

She fell upon the rice

We served, taking generous helpings

Wolfing everything down,

Soon she was crying,

Whether from the joy

Of dousing the terrible fire

Or the shame of being fed

By a neighbour

I could not tell

Submitted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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