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Poem: Lesser Children of God

By:  Chandra Shekhar Dubey
Poor children
We stalk around red lights, pavements
Metro stops in rough and fine weather
Carrying our bulging bags like boiling
Carbuncles on our bodies all in hope
of two bare meals.
Pitiless gazes, venomous spits
greet us every morning
As we sell incense sticks, mopers,
hot glossy magazines
To our unwilling clients all in hope
of two bare meals.
They say begging is sin
so we beg to sell running behind
Speeding cars, creaking auto rickshaws
of hunger, ailing sister and their gods.
In drowsy winter morning, as they prepare
their children for school
we prepare for road crossings, red lights
with pangs of hasty hunger , chasing dream
of two bare meals.
We envy their colourful school uniforms,
satchel, water bottles
While racing with the stray brooding dogs
to work sites .
The day sprawls over busy roads
of overfed city
With snail’s pace against
speeding cars, buses and bikes.
We beg them to buy our odd items all in hope
of two bare meals.
some buy, others feel angry at us
hurling silvery coins, empty
beer canes, leftovers, glossy wafer packets
with gummy eyes.
Waxed lovely faces, shrinking
inthe sleeve of their paramours
In the rear seat of shining speedy cars
bathed in the city’s light
Measure our helplessness
with their merciless compassion
As we wade through journey home
to relapse in the darkness
of our tunnels, rookies and dwelling yards
beyond the sunrise.

In dream we see the bread
climbing slowly like full
moon In the deep sky
with moans, babble of voices On
clamorous roads.
We dream bare two meals;
We are lesser children of their God.



  1. Dear Dr. Dubey, congrats! A poem that doesn’t leave you the same as you read it, visualize it, internalize it, and above all, locate yourself as one of the stakeholders the scenario depicted by it.
    My knowledge of English poetry is almost limited to what came my way in the classrooms through my teachers and textbooks. Yet I dare to say that Lesser Children of God is one of the poems that will continue to awaken my pathos even in my dreams. Sir, it reminds me of Nirala’s Bikshuk ( The Beggar): Wah aata / Do tuk kaleje ke karta/ Pachhtata path par aata/ Wah aata…
    Looking forward to many more of such poems,

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