Christmas, New Delhi

by Gord Sellar

The cold of winter is thick even here,
spread as if by a knife; the land is dry,
hungry, and teenagers don’t notice. They
stride in toques and blues jeans, speaking
Americanese to one another through the blurring
cavatinas of their accents. I’m not sure what it
means to see this on Christmas Day, as
opposed to any other day of the year.
A little girl clutches blonde Barbie dolls
in their full pink regalia, one in each little
fist, and I don’t remember ever seeing anyone
as happy as this kid with the booty of Christmas,
not in the epic flashing of nightclub lights,
not on television, not even in the ocean of
the internet, not even on magazine covers,
and I am not sure what to make of the grin.
The child is not alone in loving plastic tresses,
in staring gleeful at strange girls in pink dresses.

— 2003, New Delhi

February 10, 2012

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