Child Brides and Broken Toys
the broken, mismatched train set
put away in a rusted old box.
The little stuffed dog made so lovingly
with white and black beads
pushed under the bed, carelessly
by her guardian’s foot.
Kicking and screaming she is led
to the holy fire burning so bright.
Painted face and wrapped
in a sequined sari,
that feels like a shroud.
The kohl streaking down
her bewildered face
mixed with her pleading salty tears
marking her face,
fear marking her soul.
The groom leers at his child bride
smacks his lips in anticipation.
His middle-aged porky face glows
with lust and unconstrained glee.
He lets out a loud burp filling
the air with the smell of rotten eggs.
Just like his wish to marry a child,
contaminates the society
with its nauseating odor and ugliness.
An innocent is bought and paid for
by this filthy man from the neighborhood.
The obliged poor parents willingly
sacrifice their daughter’s happiness
for a few morsels of food.
They can’t afford to be sentimental
as they have 4 more mouths to feed.
This one will pay for a few months
to keep their bellies full.
Until it is time to slaughter yet another
this vicious cycle will continue.
Stop this madness and
help these little ones live
a life of dignity and pride.
Make them independent
get them out of the dark.
and lead them towards,