At the crossroads
By Kirsten Le Harivel

The rickshaw driver sees me,
dupatta flapping, tiffin swinging;
late as usual.

As we head to my office
we speak about his daughter,
her child in Kolkata.
I miss the details;
keep waggling my head,
smiling in the rear-view mirror.

One day he takes me out for tea.
The men at the stall stare.
They are a series of sockets,
sparking and shorting.
He jabbers with them and
brings me a steaming cup.

I wanted to get out and join him,
but outside these luminous walls
it’s different, Uncle, I wish it wasn’t.

Kirsten Le Harivel is a poet, writer and organiser. She coordinates the Oceania programs for Kahini, an international literary arts organisation and is based in New Zealand. She completed an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2013 and her work has been published in various New Zealand and international literary journals.