She tugs at my tiny tender hand
While we casually stroll the Sunday market
After our ritual morning mass

Pungent coconut curries, chili paste, cayenne-cumin clouds
Fill the air with color and familiar smells
Rich dark sun baked skin
With turmeric tan faces
Offerings of food and fancy trinkets

Warm steamy creamy porridge chicken broth
Rises up breaking through mid-morning mist
Sinks down to sticky backwash
Fly infested puddle backstreets

Motherless children scour the allies
Hunting, searching like homeless dogs
Musky sweat of long ago baths
Desperation lingers in the rising heat

My mother squeezes my tender young hand
As we search for food in our marketplace.

- Lyna