They walk in together – two little men
A toddler and a six year old
The little guy holding the brother’s shirt
unbuttoned, dirty, crumpled at ends.
Their worldly belongings in a polythene bag
they hold on tightly to one another.
No mother, nor father minds their step
Experts at being their own grown ups
Two little kids in a crowd of adults
Aberrations on that busy platform
Begging aboard the crammed coach
hands fused, they tentatively find their way.
I have seen their likes abound
On platforms, trains and busy roads.
Nonchalantly negotiating red and green lights
Selling toys and books in old school robes.
Shuffling through mountains of garbage
for broken remnants of discarded childhood.
Browned by the sun and city dust
they sleep under torn bits of hoarding
of ‘stains are good’ and ‘sleepwell mattresses’.
Unperturbed, we go on with our lives,
wrapping our children in silk duvets;
white noise blocking unwanted sounds.