Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry

Pravin Nair

I Have a Dream . . .

"Obama wishes to 'prise open' markets in India"
screamed the headline.
'Prise open', nice two words,
like prise open the lid
of a jar with candy, to dip his hands into.
Neither the lid, nor the markets
would yield on their own, of course,
force is evident at both places.
Force is the great American wet dream.
Force your say into markets,
force your way into nations.
Air Force One will ferry you everywhere.
Of course markets will be pried open
and Obama shall penetrate,
his imperial organ going deep.
At another part of the day,
kids in an orphanage,
have been woken up early
and arrayed carefully,
to meet the First Lady.
Third World children,
meeting the First lady
of the first world!
Michelle Obama,
removes her sandals,
to play with them.
7-year-old Shyama
comes from a village,
where she had to walk for miles,
often barefoot, to collect water.
She realized the value early on.
Not of water, but of good footwear.
She looks wistfully at Michelle's sandals and prays:
"Oh God, let this lady forget to wear them back"
Meanwhile, the boy who sells tea,
in a shed opposite the airport,
sees the president's fleet and says:
"I hope Osama does something good"
Untrained innocent mind, I think.
Needs to be 'prised open'.