Images of India


                                                                         The Last Shot on the Roll


You can just about tell what she's looking at,

This little tot.

She must not have sat there long – 

You can see from the pee

Which has run down the dust on her legs

And dries in the strong morning sun.


I'm glad I saved this shot

For something special.

The Peacock Gate is very fine;

And I caught on film

The line of silk-adorned elephants

That carried us here

From the town below.

(There'll be other things to capture

As we sag, trundle and sway back down:

I'll leave that to the people in raptures

Over the shrine behind me.)



I’m glad I tarried when the others moved on,

Chose not to go to the shrine

Lagged behind

And missed whatever they found.

Where I have been carried today

I have seen nothing as lovely as this,

Nothing that has stirred my mind and senses so.


But nor can I find in my camera bag,

Among my too many lenses,

An accessory to give me an image

As sharp as the one

This bundle of a child

This rag of a girl

Now holds in her head

Of her curled fingers,

The folds in her skirt

And the pee which lingers in the dirt on her legs

And dries in the hot morning sun.