He lay there unmoving; as still as the falling leaves
Around him drifting onto his weathered cheek.
The ground was hard, his legs were thin
His body wrapped in a dhoti that was clean.
How long had he starved, were his lips parched
A young man bent over him, said something
The old man didn't reply.
Was his village far away? Where were his children and why
Had he come here perhaps just to die?
Had he just decided to walk away?
Was his land parched, his crops rotten
His debts unpaid, his loans looming larger than life
Who could even presume to say?
He had laid his head down on a pillow of dust
He had lain down on a dusty pavement in an unknown town
Were there tears in his eyes, did he think of his wife
Who can even presume to say?
The next day the old man had vanished clean away
His place had been taken by a performing clown.