Time Stands Still over Govandi Station

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A kite flutters,
On a high tension wire —
Against a stark blue sky.
Beggar and old mother huddle
On Govandi Railway Station —
The dirtiest station in the universe.

He shows her a plastic watch,
Smiles, “See I have time,”
She, old, gnarled, wrinkled,
Looks through beady eyes,
“I have no need for time.”

Children toss rubber ball —
In cricketing passion.
Jagged slum roofs puncture the sky,
Open drain stinks.

Mother and son —
Hungry, disowned, dispossessed —
Govandi platform is home.
A plastic bag, clothes muddy brown,
He extends a hand,
A black plastic watch on wrist,
“God will do miracles,
Give this man a meal.”

The kite flutters;
Time stands still over Govandi Station.

© John Matthew