How the days go quickly if we let them:
children hissing on market streets,
‘PK two-thousand! PK two-thousand!’
We squeeze past them,
flag down trotros.
They watch us through the plexiglass
as we pull away, though they mostly see
their own reflections,
Their mouths curving to form each syllable,
then an empty space –
So vivid Rob... well observed.
This is a very good picture of activities on the streets in Ghana. You have written it like a Ghanaian , i love it.
these activities are nothing to be proud of but they are a part of our community, which we hope to reduce on our busy streets.
Job well done.
to think, the poem is so short yet so weighty..to think the message is so clear yet so escaping to the very likes of us....
i like it
'...they mostly see their own reflections' could mean that the children have not had the opportunity to know much about what goes on around them. They only know and learn about themselves, their trade, and nothing else. Their focus or ambition in life has been limited to their hawking image.
In that sense, the sight of their reflection in the dim / opaque plexiglass is symbolic of the deprivation of some children - in developing countries - from acquiring knowledge of the multiple dimension: of planets, souls, kingdoms, spirits, and concepts beyond them. The right to education becomes the transparent glass through which they can clearly see the complexity of those worlds ahead of them.
Interesting that that the hawkers should 'hiss' to attract attention. Is it that other ways of communicating are not available to them?
there's no end with what one can see through the glass, but that does not mean one would interprete it correctly. The enchanted mirror in the Snow White tale tells the queen that her step daughter is the fairest in the land, but never suggests what action to take.
The glass is a barrier. It prevents the hawkers from getting direct access to the passengers, while throwing their own reflections at them.
What ever glimpse they manage to catch of themselves is both fragile and impermanent because the illusion would shatter the moment the glass breaks, or disappear completely when the trotro moves away.
Notice that they are hawking gum; meant to be chewed for a short time and then discarded; and can be a bit of a nuisance really if not properly discarded.
everything about these children is fragile and precarious. The only abiding thing in their young lives is:
an empty space -
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