His radiant face and sparkling smile

Left me wondering for a while

 

Innocence writ large on his face

Worry and anxiety had no trace

 

Had barely reached his teens

Polishing shoes his means

 

A modest yet proud Pashtoon

Making a living began too soon

 

His home he left many years ago

Because of war, strife and woe

 

His education he could not complete

Yet with its yearning he was replete

 

Gingerly he sat on his teeny stool

And fished out his working tool

 

With vigour and devotion

In a back and forth motion

 

He began scrubbing

Rubbing and buffing

 

Soon he victoriously beamed

Elated on the boots he’d cleaned

 

Said to me his earnest eyes:

“Dignity in hard labour lies”

(2013)

(Dr Shehzad Saleem)

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