Andhra Summers


This poem is dedicated to street children in Andhra Pradesh, India, who continue to face extraordinary barriers in education, health, and security.


Creative Writing (Poetry)

Full Text:

Andhra Summers*

Andhra boys know best
When the summers come
We patrol the rice paddies
As the rickshaws’ wheels
Groove the monsoon mud

The chime of glass bangles
Breaks our slumber early
While palm-oiled hands
Smear the straw walls
In fresh coats of manure

We know all too well of
Collared men who splotch
Roads green with coconuts
Their plastic straws contorted
In every despicable angle

Within a fortress of fish net
And half-chewed sugar-canes
Our ashen fingers claw off
The supple white flesh
Let it trickle down our throats

Amid soft menthol vapors
And the sting of incense
We relish the sweetest stupor
As our golden teeth quiver
We finally forget our prayers

*Andhra (translates to “South” in Hindi) is the southern region of India where my own family comes from. Children living on the streets of Andhra’s cities often band together to survive by scavenging for food scraps on the streets where street vendors often sell popular items such as young coconuts (whose juice is sipped through a straw) and sugarcane (which is chewed directly).