Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

At Shivpur

At Shivpur

By Lynn Aarti Chandhok

This time, I take the ashes and the bones
in both my hands and hold them. It's raining,
and we're knee deep in the Ganges, soaked
to the skin and holding him who has none.
The bones are hollow, gritty, and so many,
as if a thousand birds had crashed in flight,
the impact burning up their flesh and feathers.
I watch my father pick these flowers, hold
one in his hands, examine it for signs
of where it's been, what function, but his tears
spare him the recognition. Standing here,
placing the bone and ash upon the surface,
I let the current take them, and I look
to see the petals flash against the gray.
Instead, the rain comes harder. Everything blurs.
I rub my hands together in the water,
then climb the gravel bank, grabbing a stone­
pitted and flecked with quartz-to carry back.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 81, No. 3 (Fall 2007), p. 28


Lynn Aarti Chandhok Photo by

Richard Bowditch

Lynn Aarti Chandhok’s first book, The View from Zero Bridge (Anhinga P), won the 2006 Philip Levine Prize. Her poetry has appeared widely in journals, including The New Republic,Tin House,The Antioch Review, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere. Additionally, she is the author of a limited edition letter-press chapbook, Picking the Flowers (Aralia P), and her work has been featured on Poetry Daily and in the anthology Poetry Daily Essentials 2007.

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