The Maharaajin That Was

"While Miss Rossignol, in the cathedral loft,
Sang to her one dead child, a tattered saint
Whose pride had paupered beauty to this witch
Who was so fine, whose hands were so soft."
- Derek Walcott, "Tales of the Islands, Chapter 111/La belle qui futä"

Parosin use to live in the concrete house
Green across the road; she skin like mud colour,
And pushing it out, round, old-Indian bones;
She use to hide like a owl from daytime bright,
The breathing soucouyant of Malick/Morvant;
And noisy as a Lugarhoo when she shuffle
On arthritic legs to make she messages,
In a white cotton sari stain with mildew.
Mama tell we how long time she use to see
That woman in a purple and gold sari.
Now Parosin alone in she temple house,
Humming bhajans to she dead husband and child;
And sometimes, by moonlight, a glimpse go show you,
A goddess glowing with a serene softness.

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