The plums tasted
sweet to the unlettered desert-tribe girl-
but what manners! To chew into each!
She was ungainly, low-caste, ill mannered and dirty,
but the god took the fruit she’d been sucking.
Why? She knew how to love.
She might not distinguish
splendor from filth
but she’d tasted the nectar of passion.
Might not know any Veda,
but a chariot swept her away-
now she frolics in heaven, esctatically bound
to her god.
The Lord of Fallen Fools, says Mira,
will save anyone who can practice rapture like that-
I myself in a previous birth
was a cowherding girl
What if the measure of our value in this lifetime is not…
- how tidy we kept our car
- whether our kid’s nose had snot crusted on it
- how flat our stomach was
- the number of zeroes in our bank account
But how diligently we practice rapture?
Not perfectly, but devotedly studying passion. So that, like the girl in the poem, we know how to love.