a breathful of ginger

With a scrap piece of tin for a roof
and a rickety wooden table
to rest glass jars of vibrant sugar candy,
salty-sweet cookies that melt in the mouth,
and unbranded crisps of rice and potato
for little people with cold coins
in their warm, playful pockets,
the store thrives when the sky
begins to lose it’s evening reds
’round the corner of the duty street.
The spiced aroma of masala chai
that brews in the dented pot beside the jars
blends with muddled gossip
from the day almost past,
with hearty folks and simple words
in foreign, fading clothes
that hang awkwardly off their work-hardened shoulders;
little girl in a once-bright orange frock
gazes fondly at its laced edges
as mother sips tea
with the other women in faded sari
on the broken sidewalk.
A man with a resting walking stick
and a smile as charming as
diyas that have deck the darkened windows
every diwali in all his eighty-one years
gazes at the dozing sky that fades and fades
’til stars come out to play again.
the wisps of steam from his little steel glass
that quietly steal a breathful of ginger for the breeze,
touch his silvery hair in greeting,
then curl slightly in farewell
before they fade into the skies…

T. E. Pyrus

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7 thoughts on “a breathful of ginger

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