I spent my days in fun,
Now, Time’s up and I’m out of a job.
I used to go here and there making money,
Had brothers, friends, wife, and children
Who listened when I spoke. Now they scream at me
Just because I’m poor. Death’s
Field man is going to sit by my pillow
Waiting to grab my hair, and my friends
And relations will stack up the bier,
Fill the pitcher, ready my shroud and say
So long to the old boy
In his holy man’s get-up.
They’ll shout Hari a few times,
Dump me on the pile and walk off.
That’s it for old Ramprasad.
They’ll wipe off the tears
And dig in to their supper.
From: Grace and Mercy in her Wild Hair
Selected Poems to the Mother Goddess
Translated by Leonard Nathan and Clinton Seely