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Jagannath rao Adukuri


The roadside bathers


The water of life streamed
Through the broken roadside tap
The sun burned like a death-fire
On bodies, bloodless and charred.
The white cloth clung to flesh
Laying bare embers of lost hopes
Unceasing the water flowed
Onto the soap-lathered bodies
And thence into the foul gutter
If only time went reverse
These ebony bodies would love
To swim back to the safety
Of that primeval water body
From where they had journeyed here
A journey back from fire to water.

Submitted: Sunday, November 23, 2008
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