The pole in the street was bent
The light it cast flickered like a mad man
‘Light poles’, she called them.
The word ‘street light’ was rejected
It wasn’t bent when she was young
It was upright, tall with pride
Shining in all its youth
Lighting our way out to the village
The markets still lit with lanterns
Electricity was only street magic then
Our homes still burnt dung cake fires
So long ago it all seems
When, before the pole came
The fireflies were our only hope
In their dim green brilliance
Under the kind glow of the moon
She used to catch them
And make her hands their cage
Delighting in their entrapment
How her heart broke…
The first time one died in her hand.
It wasn’t her fault I said.
Their lifespan was short, very short.
How many years has it been?
The fireflies disappeared long ago.
She is now bent with age like the pole
Rotting in a bed that is her prison
Her body is a lock with no key
And she still gets filled with grief
Wonder why it takes people so long
So long to realise that everything in life
Is just like the things on our street
It all someday becomes obsolete