I know I know him from before:
I can’t forget his empty cheeks,
His naked chin, his bearded ears,
And how familiar he reeks.
And yet I cannot place his face.
Not with the tattered cloth he wears.
Something made me notice how
He kept his posture down the stairs.
I ask my brother if he knows.
His eyebrows meet, but mute he stays.
I ask my mother if she knows.
Her eyebrows jump, she showers praise.
For forty years he has been here,
He daily scrubs the temple floor.
I marvel at the Bhakti of
The richest man in Berhampur.