Metal Children
“Interior, exterior, wax and polish
The whole works please”
Confidently I instructed
Simply charged it to my plastic
A mere twenty-five dollars, not a big deal!
 
As I handed over my car keys
Two muscular youth instantly rushed
With powerful machines they sucked out
each and every particle of dirt and dust.
Perfectly aligned to the black track
The wheels automatically rolled to move on
Protected against outside elements,
Inside a glass corridor I walked along
Watching this prize possession of mine
To witness how it was being pampered
My metal child!
What about the children of flesh and blood?
Images of disaster in the far away land
Started rolling in the real of my mind, I could see
A desperate mother begging for a glass of water
Let alone afford the luxury to bathe her infant
 
Gallons and Gallons of water gushed out from all directions
Washing the exterior till it sparkled
Keeping pace I continued to walk along
‘Turtle wax now being applied’
A flashing sign lit up, haunted with the war news
I recalled images of shelling and carpet bombing instead!
Pure white suds softly landed all over its body
Big brushes automatically jutted out
Moving in circles gently they massaged the sides
Till the hubs of the wheels started shining too
More water poured forth from all directions-the final rinse!
In ‘Shock and Awe’
For a while I stood still!
 
Few more healthy teens with jovial smiles
Rushed to grab this baby with pleasure
Time to towel dry now
Seeing those white towels I couldn’t help thinking   
Hospitals void of bandages! 
 
 
Innocent injured children with no medicines either
My real kept rolling
Haunting me still
Those hazel eyes of a maimed teen-ager
His entire family lost!
 
Soon they handed over my keys
Like everyone else
With acceleration I merged into an ever-flowing stream of steel
Guzzling away what kept us going
The fluid which had become a curse for some
Blessing for others
Into the daily mundane I too moved on
As if nothing happened at all!
 
………………………….
 
Zohra zoberi
Apr 16, 2003