The Well

We present this work in honor of Durga Puja.

Padma Sachdev
b. 1940


To the right
of our hill
there’s a shining well
full of water.
Last year
summer covered it
with green mango blossom.
The green tempted
a calf,
which fell in
and drowned.
Since then
people have stopped
drinking from that well.
Now, like a thief,
I bathe in it
at night.
I cup my hands
and drink from it
at night.
But the water
doesn’t quench
my thirst, my desire.
In the dark depths
of the well
there are shadows
still waiting for
the girls
who’d slung a rope
on its hook
but never came back
to draw water.
The well’s darkness
is waiting
for the moment
when I’ll have
the courage
to stretch out my hands
and drink its water
in broad daylight.

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