I thought him shallow
Until he bent
To kiss the ground
– This Dosha
With ‘the trouble’
On his chest.

Lilacs flared
And a sparrow
Held her wing at
“Sinhala,” he hissed:
The larynx
A dirge born of sand…

Repeat Sri Lanka
And weep.

• Dosha = Ritual Healer.  Buddhists ‘Kiss the ground with their feet.’

Stefanie Bennett, ex-blues singer and musician, has published several books of poetry, a novel, and a libretto. She also worked with Arts Action For Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Australia in 1945. Read other articles by Stefanie.