Mid serried rows he simply waits for death,
Fresh-scavanged jetsam from Calcutta's streets;
A word, lips form, unspoken, lacking breath,
While in its cage his heart mad-flutt'ring beats
What is the word that failed upon those lips?
His eyes no longer plead, nor blame, but seek
In languid gaze to tell, as life-hold slips
What he would have me share with him so weak.
An angel, sari-clad, him to her clasps
As silver thread of life is loosed from clay,
His last pained breaths he takes in rapid gasps,
Teresa, for his soul, begins to pray.
As Mary her Son helps, so did this Mother,
Then, too late, I knew - he called me "Brother!"
John Meston © 1998
Galloping On IX, Access Press,
PO Box 446, Bassenden WA 6054.