On the 13th day we said our prayers.
clapped our hands vigorously for the crows
fed the poor
Prayed for your moksha.
It was an autumn noon
a thousand dragon flies covered the temple pond
their big dead eyes peering through the surface
Searching for your eyes to stare back at them
through the murky water.
Their buzz a mournful drone.
When we fished you out
a dragonfly’s tattered wings
covered your bruised breasts.
And in the end we cleaned you up
Washed you from head to toe.
And soaped you with your favorite Cinthol soap. Lime fragrance.
A small soap bubble formed on your right ear lobe.
We dressed you in your favorite pink shirt. The one with the tiny polka dots.
And tied your toes together as the shoes wouldn’t fit.
As you lay still with all the flowers around you,
The soap bubble caught the rainbow from the sunlight
streaming in through the stained glass of the school church
And then we buried you in grandma’s backyard.
Under your favorite tamarind tree.
Now I often think of the soap bubble.