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Darshan

The old woman
In fading white blouse
And dull green saree
Kept away by the police barricades
Sits with hope
With her unsold flowers
Her sacred ash-smeared forehead
Without the kumkum
And bare neck
Keeps away the superstitious
I'm drawn by her never-say-die smile
As bewitching as the jasmine
Strung and ready to wear
Mocking death with its fragrance
I do not bargain
As I watch her measure
Liberally with her arm
I turn home
Without entering the temple
Her blessing
Ringing in my ears.

Submitted: Thursday, February 28, 2013


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