Beside the Pain

a poem by John Bosco

It may be sun or rain,
I move to the brothel.
A hut it’s but a paradise.
Two rooms;a bed and a fireplace.
Bed sheets are clean as herself.
She adores a goddess beautiful.
I get inside and she closes the the door,
Then an embrace and tears too.
Embraces she sells for price,
But that tears she lends me alone.
She was weeping wetting my chest;
“My parents were no more.” she said once.
I guessed it was the reason for all.
Bundle of medicines I bought for her,
Took her to the doctor; he asked:
Who was she to me, the bond!
I nodded twice, said, “My friend”.
A glow in her eyes I saw
“Was it true?” on the way back she asked.
That evening my chest was fully wet.
Her tears, I was afraid, would make a stain.
Someone knocked, “I am not well”,
She went and said, footsteps away.
“You need a rest”, I kissed her forehead,
And sat beside her, how she smiled!
“Why don’t you leave me?” she asked.
“I shall pay,” said I, “for sitting beside”.
When she slept I prayed for her.
Her face was calm and no trace of sin,
But I heard the whispering; “a friend… a friend”.