Markandr

This man

works, rowing his boat each morning;

passing the dawn devotions on the Ganges,

the bathers, the laundry workers,

the women gathering water for their homes.

Passing then those waiting to die and

those mourning on the burning ghats;

a traveler, seeking atonement,

tastes the river water with an invisible tongue.

Each evening his rowing ceases;

the sound of water on moored wood

mingles with incense and invocation as he witnesses

the temple priests put Holy Mother Gange to rest.

This man

whose eyes match the color of his boat.

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