fingers run across the cracks breaking mud.
We hold hands, my brothers and I,
searching for that yellow light of comfort.
The naughty one tugs at my hair,
I slip him a sweet rock.
We see her.
Clad in a peacock sari, our mother waves a smile.
She has brought us chickpea sandwiches.
They call us in.
A brown leaf falls.
The lady in black:
'The children shall stay with the father
as requested by the mother'.
A hush spreads the message.
She feeds us with promises, and
he promises love.
Later that night, tucked in together,
the night lamp is my blanket.
by Ajay Nagaraju
Photo by A. M. Yeager