A Little More of Sugar, A Little Less of Salt

Entry for Reflections-Dhruva Y.E.S. Poetry Writing Competition, 2012. The theme was ‘Good and Bad Habits: How do they affect a student?’ Won a consolation prize for the same.

You stand aloof
At the juncture of adolescence
And stare ahead,
At the two little shops a few meters away.
One selling pudding and honey dipped toffee;
The other, vending a tumbler of modest lemonade.
The sweet seller is lost in the swamping crowd,
Trying to outdo each other and bite into every item.
There is a certain pie that catches your eye,
You grab it before everyone else does
And savour it till nothing else matters.

Suddenly, a searing pain shoots up in your stomach
And the half ate sweet meat drops off your hands.
Your insides feel as if a larva greedily is feeding on them.
And as you look down, clutching your belly
The remaining piece appears like poison,
Staring back at you seductively
And you hastily turn your gaze away,
Scared that you will lose the battle.

The next few days, it’s a life sans appetizers;
You are at the mercy
Of anything and everything
But of sugary core.
As you pass by the sweet seller
And stop over the lemonade stall,
You catch a whiff of the dainty aroma floating by
And those heavenly days come gushing out
To haunt you as you force down the salty lemonade
Down your throat.
But soon, you feel a new verve inside you
And the salt doesn’t burn your wounds anymore.
Your tummy is at rest now,
Blissfully unaware of your saccharine cravings,
Stealthy taking over your soul once more.

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