Roads not elaborated, but experienced

Aditi Shah

Gunmetal-grey moustache, jaded crow's feet,
the derby's spoke all concrete english
with renewed sass polished into it by Charlie's Shoe Shiner by the side of the street,
previously owned by a tinker.
It's smugness at this second wiped by a clinker, the minute the heel of the shoe got
a shoulder tap,
turning to the sound of a stone on a saltatory path of the roughened street,
kicked by tallest of the juveniles,
sound in rhythm with the shout of the
peppery old lady across, with the largest mango tree,
the leaves of which covered the gravel of that street,
like a baby tucked in.
Kick rocks she had said, and so the boys took it literally.
The lamp post next to her house still broken,
was it by the cricket ball, his winning six?
or was it a near miss of the rock aimed at her window by her unrequited lover,
requesting a rendezvous?
Shifting sides, to the dim corner, the only shelter from the ol' razzle dazzle of the
feasting festivities around.
This street, decades back, smeared with cinder of cigars of the rich,
now with butts, like the road is made up of ash, built by the kids that once said
they'd never be like this.
Here and now, the rugged street and resistance of the sole hurt the foot,
which could once unflinchingly run bare through rocks to reach to raw guava first.
Gutter beside now seems closed, where will the 7 tailed rat from granny's fairytale
Playing the cassette on the walkman in back pocket,
tuning from the 1960's to the timeless,
the town turning sepia,
a turn to the right,
dusty chalk, drawn hopscotch squares, a few jumps, even the limping leg could
pass through.
The two fingers that will braid hair and make bread,
now in the street on the left, shooting marbles like some top dog.
Pistachio painted doors with chipped paint, familiarly, by the frame, stood a father
waiting for his kid, barely tolerating a minute past 9, a minute too late.
Soon the tape reel stops turning
but rather not bemoan
after all at the end of the day ,
rewind and all these streets lead to home.

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