A street dog, mangy, with open sores,
ribs protruding like the fasting Buddha
paces back and forth the street,
anguish in her rheumy eyes.
She turns to me with such a look
of desperation that I think
she might turn on me,
instead she lets a mournful cry.
That howl tears through my soul
more resonant than a tantric chant;
a cry for all the homeless ones,
beggars and lepers we ignore.
Her cry ascends into the night,
such sorrow, such pain and loneliness
and a cry rises within my chest.
What to do? Who to save?
That cry is inside me evermore
no matter how fast I walk away.
That cry of India in the night
cannot be ignored.