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what's one more or less by anuradha rao

He hasn't turned up today either.

Sitting in the parked car, she frowns.
Anxious eyes rake the street up and down,
but there's no sign of him.
More than a week since she saw him last,
and she just cannot understand.

sleep by deva suckerman
Sleep
by Deva Suckerman

He's met her
at the same place,
at the same time,
Every single day
of the past year,
and not once was he even late.

Memories of a
bright, sunlit smile
and warm brown eyes
steal over her,
making her blink.

Fingers beating a nervous tattoo
on the dashboard,
she wonders: Shall I?
Then, quickly deciding,
gets out of the car
and approaches the policeman.

Excuse me, sir, she says,
but do you happen to know
what's become of Jose?

He turns slowly,
sizing her up.
Who? He drawls.
Ah yes.
Jose.
Died last week —
rat fever —
folks didn't want to go
to a doctor,
on account of
they couldn't afford it,
and when they did,
were too late.

She is mute.

These scum!
The policeman spits.
They got more children than
they can look after!
What's one more or less to them?

She walks back to the car.
Sits there,
gazing in front of her
with empty eyes.

Don't worry, ma'am,
he calls after her.
You can get
some other kid
to clean your car windows.

Bio: Anuradha Rao lives in India. A full time working wife and mother, she loves reading and writes for relaxation and fun. Anuradha can be reached at: kgv@vsnl.net.

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