Ode to Temple Crowds

Ode to Temple Crowds

by Ruminate Magazine May 22, 2019 2 Comments

Uma Menon's poem "Ode to Temple Crowds" appears in Issue No. 51: Consume.

________

UMA MENON
Ode to Temple Crowds

in the damp heat of india       my mother wraps the end
of her shawl & tethers it to her waist                she holds

out her finger & says        here is a lifeline   as i tongue at
the strand of saffron lodged       between my back teeth

i grab on to her hand       our hands clasping each other
as a prayer unfolds beneath her breath   & she pulls me

through a sea of sweaty bodies that scent       of sacred
incense                   set ablaze in the cavity     of my nose

maybe this is where wildfires begin: with bodies stacked
over each other   worshipping the divine           but really

each other          wading through monsoon season   only
to be lodged in the mouth of steam            
so this is what

it means to pray     i say to myself & glance at my mother
her eyes tightly pressed & suddenly saffron comes loose

________
 

UMA MENON is a fifteen-year-old student and writer from Winter Park, Florida. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, The Rumpus, and IRIS Magazine, among others. Her first chapbook was published with Zoetic Press in January 2019. Uma is the recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award for her first place poetry in the state of Florida, and she was named the national winner of National Poetry Quarterly’s poetry contest.

More from Issue 51: Consume. 




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2 Responses

Burgess needle
Burgess needle

May 27, 2019

Astonishing! How to have lived a mere 15 years and create such a treasure!

Alice
Alice

May 23, 2019

Uma Menon’s poem is a delight to read capturing the essence of something beautiful. Alice G. Waldert

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