As marketplace vendors call to me
Not wanting to long linger
Timidly, I point my finger
At a long bolt of smooth yellow.
Behind the booth, a young fellow
Picks it up and holds it aloft
My fingers touch the fabric—so soft!
I sigh, my gaze a bit starry
As I picture the cloth as a beautiful sari.
I pull out my worn purse
Hoping he won’t notice my face is terse
Digging inside, I offer a fistful of rupees
My desperate look saying, “Please?”
Instantly, I see his eyes snap.
He knew that of education, I’d not had one scrap.
He tells me the price, counting my money
Is it just me, or is his face a little too sunny?
I walk away, yellow cloth in hand
Feeling not at all in command.
Did he cheat me or not? I just can’t tell.
Illiteracy is a jail cell.