When the moon is full
and bloated with the sins of men
And with the lies that they speak
Then she puts on a jaundiced halo
and reflects a light so blinding
that the people may not see
and cringe and die in shame
at the horrors that their wantonness has begot.
When the moon is full and bloated.
Then she picks up her weary satchel
to set off on her lonesome beat
Through the alleys and the subways
Of the city that is on heat
Searching for that one act of kindness
from hands that do not seek
For courage and compassion
In this city that is on heat.
Seeking a mind that still finds meaning
in syllables forming tenuous words
that people are too embarrassed to speak
She searches on her lonely beat.
And when she finds them
Like an excited schoolboy unearthing
a stash of marbles in a dusty forsaken nook
Who marvels at his find,
She exults at this redemption.
Then bathes them in her gentle light
He cleans his treasure with tender care
She covers them with her mantle
He wraps it in brown paper
She returns to the skies
He hurries home with his prize
She guards them through the dark of the night
He conceals it out of sight
She stands vigil with the stars and the fireflies
When the moon is full.
© anjali purohit 2011
(first published in ‘Suvarnarekha-an Anthology of Indian Women Poets writing in English’ 2014)