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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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WATER GOD

 

Before class each morning,

Shankar appears on a balcony

that overlooks the lily pond

dwarfed by towering pines.

 

Archway after archway

frame his perspective

as he rests his arms

on a steel railing

to study the water’s edge.

 

He rolls a small crust of bread

between his fingers

and sails a tiny bead

into the dark palette below.

 

Flashes of orange, metallic gold,

and streaks of glossy black

quicken the shallows.

The koi

 

know their keeper.

He worries about them

when he’s away

—hopes someone else

will feed his ancient friends,

 

but the koi sense that Shankar

will shadow their sky again,

so they wait for manna,

the promise of rain.


Laura Treacy Bentley