Small satchel, holding book promises
Little single light her nightly stage,
Little girl walking –
Climbed the barren hills,
Stumbled through rocky pathways.
Her daily rowing of the galley
Promise of her ‘promised land’.

Neatly pressed single white robe,
Washed and folded daily,
Her nightly ritual,
Only one robe to cover,
Her slender frame.

Six feet long threads,
Spun with coarse motherly hands,
Simple single color borders,
Teased into strands,
From cotton flowers,
In distant fields.

Robes singular purpose
Cover humility and a wondrous mind
Waiting to break free
The woman she wanted to be.

Little girl walking –
Glances daily at the shop front,
• A Single image, edges faint
Discolored patina,
Mixing chemicals in air,
Gilded frame slightly bent
From constant use.

Framed image captured eternity,
Glory of a wondrous mind,
Moments she could never hold,
Cherish them only as minds memories.

Little girl – builds on mind’s images,
Creates castles of learning,
Mind as learned as the books in her satchel.
Learns to heal others –
While never healing herself.

Pious virtues, daily homage –
Mother, wife, goddess, healer, friend,
– She’s all in one.
Little girl becomes a woman,
Never touches the one insider her.

Caged inside, she tries to unravel,
Fused bonds of her cage.
Beauty and pain live together,
She’s now everything to them –
All living inside – In her cage.

Little girl walking –
Looking for promise of her ‘promised land’.
Jumps over barren mountains,
Forsakes discolored images of glory,
Changes from one robe to wardrobe of colors.

Lives a lifetime in her cage,
Mother, wife, goddess, healer, friend,
– All in one.
Now – a woman greyed,
Looks back at a little girl walking –
Still wanting to be –
The woman she wanted to be.


The poem is based on stories heard from my mother and her family about her early days as a child (one of 9 siblings). She belonged to a family that was not very rich and had to work really hard to become a doctor. The latter passage talks about her years as a woman playing several roles and looks/questions whether her dreams and ambitions as a woman in India were truly realized or if they somehow got entangled with her different roles and got lost in the way.

2 Comment on “Little Girl Walking

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