The Sacred Dance – a poem by Pratibha Kelapure

The Sacred Dance


The midnight train through the echo tunnel
windows streaked with the monsoon rain
the girl’s braids flap against the pane, 
two curious eyes sparkle
The darkness is lit by the dappled light
On and off, off and on, so on and so on
The tunnel is done, but the light goes on
The girl with the sparkle in her eyes 
Sleep lost to her. Sound of her mother’s
Call is drowned out by the chuk-chuk --
The rhythm of the wheels on the metal tracks
The mystery of the light, the spellbound girl
An occasional red lantern in the rain
And the twinkling, sparkling dots of light
Shifting shape in the dark, a spectacular show
Just for the young girls with the wonder
Still left in their eyes, the spectral, sacred
Dance of the love among the glowworms

Pratibha Kelapure is an Indian-American poet residing in California. Her poems appear in Choice Words: Writers on Abortion (Anthology, Haymarket Books, 2020), Entropy Magazine, Plath Poetry Project, miller’s pond poetry, The Lake, and many other literary magazines.

1 Comment

  1. James Hannon says:

    love this. I remember train rides and long car rides as a child, sleep/wake/sleep/wake just like the flashing lights. But the chuk-chuk of the train is a special trail to the unconscious.

    Liked by 1 person

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