To Rajasthan’s Water-Women

I once saw a story in a pair of earrings.

Cheap silver earrings gracing a young bride’s ear,

Lying along her cheeks like a lover’s caress.

Silver women carrying water-pots on their heads,

Their anklets the bells that sang and laughed when the bride shook her head.


I stared, and the rest of the world receded.

Only sun-blue sky,

Only desert-dune,

Only silver women walking across them with water-pots,

Waking round and round in circles,

As if all the water and all the thirst in the world

Existed between their wells and their houses.


I once saw women’s worlds in a pair of earrings.


                                                                                           ~ Dipanwita Sen

                                                                                                 Burdwan, India

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