By the Ganges

The priest sits on the edge of the water
His saffron robe wrapped around him against the chill of dawn.
He waits for the sunrise to wash the sky with orange.
He murmurs his mantra, his amber eyes fixed on the flag,
Kesari, white and green,
Wafting gently across the river.
Worshipers soon come, worshipers soon go,
Briskly completing their faithful ablutions
In the grey water of the Ganges.

Sunrise saffron songs
Washed into the grey water
Until sunset comes

A Haibun by Marie Sheard

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