Like Or­di­nary Weep­ing

The Buffalo News - - GUSTOSUNDAY: BOOKS - (“In­dian Girl Weeps Stones” – Times of In­dia, New Delhi Edi­tion, 2006) By Su­san Dworski Nus­baum Con­trib­u­tor’s Note: SU­SAN DWORSKI NUS­BAUM will join poet Ryki Zuck­er­man at a Poets and Writ­ers Se­ries read­ing at 2 p.m. on Sun­day, April 7 at the Burch­field-

First the pain pools be­hind the eyes like or­di­nary weep­ing, but when the girl Sav­itri squeezes her lids to­gether, not tears, but small white stones drop with the sound of wind-chimes into the sling of her sarong.

Squat­ting in the sun along the Jark­hand-Air­port Road, Sav­itri crushes lime­stone slabs to peb­bles with the rhyth­mic chink and ping of the pick, chalk in­vad­ing her nos­trils, shoul­ders bent un­der the thun­der of the jet stream,

the heft of gravel scooped into bas­kets and bal­anced on her head to the weigh-sta­tion. What des­ic­cates your tears, Sav­itri? Is it an un­re­lent­ing thirst from a life smoth­ered be­neath lay­ers of grit?

Yet ev­ery night Sav­itri trudges to her vil­lage through dark ex­ca­va­tions, in­hales the Holy Ganges in the dis­tance, and raises her eyes to sip nour­ish­ment from a star-shat­tered sky.

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