A farm girl decided to survive in a big city.
She tried all decent work to bring in income
to pay for their daughter’s education,
so she would not need to follow her footsteps.
She sold rubber sandals in the market.
She mixed cement, dug trenches
and laid bricks on construction sites.
She is 5 feet tall in sun tanned skin.
She rode on a 28 inch wheel bicycle
carrying an ice box filled with ice blocks.
She waited outside her daughter’s school
in many scorching summer afternoons.
Children swamped out the school gate
at the sound of the bell.
That was the best time of her sales.
Children were reaching their hands high
to pay for the ice blocks.
It looked like a vigorous bidding scene.
She barely kept up to collect the coins
while giving out the ice blocks.
Yet her eyes always spotted her little girl
once she appeared outside the school gate.
She reached into the bottom right corner of the ice box
to retrieve the special perfectly frozen vanilla ice block,
handing it to her daughter standing on the sideline.
She never kept any eye contact though,
for the fear of the children would laugh at
her little girl has a mother working as a petty street vendor.
She received great education opportunities
from her mother’s hard labour and vision.
Every time she sucks on a vanilla ice block,
her mother’s sun tanned forehead
soaked with hot summer sweat
comes into her mind.
The melting ice block,
her melting heart,
shows up as streams of tears
she is too proud to hold back.
– dedicated to my mother