by Ajmer Rode
Kalli followed me eight miles
to the market where
animals were traded like slaves.
Cows goats bullocks camels
Kalli was black beautiful and six
prime age for a water buffalo.
She was dry. Repelled bulls as if she had
decided never to go green.
Hard to afford, my father decided
to sell her.
She obeyed as I led her
by the steel chain, one end in my hand
the other round her neck.
I was fifteen. Her nervousness was over
soon after we entered the market
where sellers occupied
their given spaces like matrimonials
on a large weekly page.
Kalli sat down with no emotion in her eyes
like an ascetic close to nirvana.
I sat stood walked around like a
neglected calf. Nobody bought Kalli.
She followed me 8 miles back home
I wasn't sure if Father was sad
or glad to see her back. He just
looked at her like a family member
who had missed the train.
Last updated December 10, 2013