A shadow play called life

This poem is inspired by an incident which happened to me in real life.

A shadow play called life


A grubby little hand reached up

to tap at my window

unclaimed by a face



tap tap tap

Ignoring the persistent rhythmic plea

I looked out at a brown tinted world

Vehicles momentarily leashed

by the red glow of a traffic light

snarling, growling predators of the road.

Swarms of humanity scuttling across


Emboldened by the moment.

Tap tap

Tap tap

A change in rhythm

Broke my reverie

Two grubby little hands now

Yet unclaimed by a face

Fascinated, I watched

As a shadow play unfolded

Hands folded in a plea

Two fingers and a thumb joined

to form a mouth moving wordlessly

“Hunger” I thought

A curved palm swayed menacingly

“The vicious snake of poverty”

it seemed to me

Two hands joined at the wrist

to form the snapping jaws of a crocodile

“Cruel world” I deciphered

Thumbs linked, hands flapped

as a bird flew across my window

“But I still have dreams”.

Down slid the brown screen of my window

Revealing the world’s true colours.

Bending out as I looked,

She laid claim to the grubby little hands

A mop of matted unruly curls

Barely reaching the bottom of my window

Toothless grin lighting up a dirt stained face

Delighted with her award-winning performance

But I was mesmerised by her eyes

Glittering honey brown diamonds

Shining with life

Filled with dreams.


I reached into my bag

And handed her some money.

Without a word she took it.

As my car inched forward

I looked back to see,

Two grubby little hands

Forming a perfect little heart.

The End

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