A Little Girl Pinched Me Today

Walking in the streets today, something weird happened

Two weird things happened

A little girl, two little girls

Walked up to me as I hurried away

They each held on to one of my hands

And prayed that I give them a coin

I looked around, and saw

Them.

The mother’s menacing look

Like a pimp with a camera in the hotel room

Daring me to hurt their little children.

So I hurried away.

 

One let go, but the other little girl

The other little girl did not

She was not so little

Maybe seven, eight years old

She held on and walked at my pace

Half jogged even, as much as her little strides could.

I ignored her, or tried to, and walked even faster.

Twenty metres, she still did not let go.

Thirty metres, fourty, fifty…

I knew that at some point she would have to let go….

 

I was looking ahead, at something else…

On the road a few metres away, a young boy sat on the back of his mother’s wheelchair

A not so young boy

He sat there, his legs swinging away as his crippled mother

Manouvered her way through the midday traffic.

Unfair, I thought..

Why would he burden his mother even further than she was.

How unfair could a child be, I thought

So unfair as to not see his mother’s plight

Just add weight to he already burdened life

Just sitting at the back, on the big box

Maybe she was a hawker, and the box bore her wares

So, it was even heavy without the little boy.

But then I saw something beautiful,

A balance of nature between mother and son..

When the road started uphill

The not so young boy disembarked

And pushed his mother’s wheelchair,

Helping her negotiate the traffic…

 

Back to the little girl who would not let go

I ignored her because she was clean

And I knew one of the women looking at me was the mother

I ignored her because

She should have been in school

Because she has a future ahead of her, whether bright or not

I walked away because I saw in her eyes (when I did steal a glance)

A desperation for something more…

Then she did something I did not expect.

 

When she saw that it was all futile

She stopped, causing me to slow down because she still held my hand

And then

She pinched me really hard.