At Mahabalipuram


Just off the pavement

In the dust, where

The goats trotted by

On their way—

Like a dry, crinkled leaf

From a felled


A crumpled letter,

Or a sheaf

Of papers, old things,


Unsent, she was there,

Her hand outheld

Her head

Enscarved, you gave her

Some change, in a moment,

So that you would feel better,


Of lost,

In the raven-filled air.

And she folded her hands into ‘namaste’

As a butterfly folds her wings.

Written October 17, 2010

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