A man reads the newspaper
as if his son would turn up
on page three. The chaiwallah makes
a cutting, not because a half is any different
but because it is
just enough.


The iron press is as big as her,
the coal as much as her,
the crumpled elephants embroidered
are straightened out. Her daughter in the back,
as old as me but not as young,
puts her mirror in the deepest parts
of the wooden trunk
like she knows her purpose
is to cause reflections; the reflections
here to stay; she to go
with the only assurance that her mirror
is safe from the stranger.


Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

Ajay Kumar

Ajay Kumar is a high school student from Pune, India. He is the student editor of his school magazine Abhivyanjana and writes sports articles on various online platforms. His works have been published in The Medley and Body without organs.