Jane Shlensky’s “Waiting” after Steve McCurry

Jane Shlensky
after “Women in Dust Storm, Rajasthan, India” by Steve McCurry

Women deal in dust,
life a constant war
against dirt and denial.
But when a Rajasthani
dust storm rages and all
the earth rises up and takes
to air, women of spice,
their saris red, gold, orange,
paprika and hot peppers
turned earth tones, circle,
huddle together, their water
vessels dropped at their feet,
no moisture in this moment.

Cover mouths and eyes
with a fold of a shawl and sing
the fear away, tuck chin
and bend together, breathe
lightly and pray for storms
that blind the world
to cease, for choking dust
to settle, for spice women
to become tree trunks
for one another, standing
ghostly as salvation,
stark as huddling cardinals
in milkglass fog, waiting.

Jane Shlensky, one of the 2015 Fall Face To Face Poetry Gathering organizers, talks about the photograph by Steve McCurry that inspired her work. The September 19 Art of Poetry event at Hickory Museum of Art was one many activities for the gathering.

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A children's librarian who loves to excite youth about reading!
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2 Responses to Jane Shlensky’s “Waiting” after Steve McCurry

  1. patricia deaton says:

    A wonderful poem, Jane!!! What beautiful imagery and thought!

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