Poem: The Rag Picker

By: Priya Anand

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He walks like a leaf scattered by the wind
Gait unsteady yet swiftly
As if propelled by a sudden gust that darts and swoops
Likened to a golem that lurks in the shadows
Decrepit and insignificant
Invisible to most humans
Except if he is your direct line of vision
You feel uneasy and move aside
Afraid that his emanations may tap you on your shoulder
And question your well ordered existence
You and he occupy a created space
Where his reasons for existence may occupy a higher plane than yours
Now dogs, who like him live on the fringes of society
Face no such moral dilemmas
They view him solely as a competitor and a usurper
A forager of odds and ends
That they perceive as rightfully theirs
He exists on the fringes, where only the feeble fingers of light
Poke faint holes in the coarse fabric of darkness
A subaltern denied a voice in society
Discarded like the items he unearths from the detritus

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