MS (25-11-1960 / Pakistan)

The Long Queues

In the sweltering days of June,
When wells around the village,
Went dry and life became hard,
Men and stock moved desperate,
Animals gasped with hanging tongues,
The sunbeams singed trees and lands,
Our sisters, mothers and reverend ladies
Went with earthen pots on their heads,
To the far off founts in the steepy deeps,
And returned toiling up, out of breath,
On the stony ways, hard and pricking,
Many among them with bare sore feet,
Resting akimbo on each landing.

Still my mind recollects the long queue,
With the shadows of erected poised pitchers,
In gloam chattering with jingling laughters,
Returned to quench the dry throats,
But men and we the wanton youngs,
Consumed the cold substance lavishly,
Pouring upon the sweaty bodies,
Ah! Aloof they stood with content looks,
And solaced smiles on their dry lips.

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