MUSED Literary Magazine.
Poetry

Tree-temple

Sunil Sharma

On the gnarled bosom
of the banyan tree
a home to birds
and spirits of the undead

few cotton threads
crisscross in an irregular pattern

a framed picture
of a goddess consecrates
the tree as a vertical temple

few flowers
and incense sticks
at its roots,

a saree-encased figure
eyes closed, hands folded
mumbles mantras to the tree
that gives shade to her family
of the vegetable vendor

after the long prayer, she
resumes the evening trade
for the commuters back from Mumbai

haggles with them, cheerfully,
commerce and faith collapse into each
other seamlessly---in a daily act,
along a common street.