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Had She

Had she stayed
Had she not stepped up
Into the train that carried them down
From the hills to the plane
Home through Rangoon and Vientiane
She would know that
What kailāsaranashiva

In the cripple's mouth after he spat
At them at the standing boxcars
Means is
O Lord Shiva on Mount Kailash
Moon-Jeweled       Serpent-Crowned
Ocean of Mercy       Remover of Delusion
Protect me        I surrender

Elizabeth T. Gray Jr.

Beloit Poetry Journal

Spring 2014

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