I stood at the ghats at sundown and followed the river with my eyes.
Pale ribbon of gold meandering surely into the sky.
How often had I sat on these smooth rocks, feet dangling in the shallows, counting sailing clouds, losing track of time.
Time was always on our side.
But this sunset was different.
Today the waves were in a hurry and I could not stay.
Averting my eyes, I lowered the pitcher in my arms and poured.
The stream flowed swiftly. Ripples blossomed on the glass and spread where my voice could not.
I let it run, not checking the flow, nor holding back.
Everything the river had given must be returned.
I came back to the place that should be my home.
The walls bare, the floor unswept. I put down the pitcher and unfastened the window shutters.
Far away in the evening I see the gleam of familiar waters.
Turn away, wordless yet again.
It is then that I notice what I should have seen all along.
The pitcher is no longer empty.
To the brim it is filled with clear liquid, slopping over the sides, warm to the touch.
No explanations given. None required.
I kneel, cupping in my hands this small miracle. Their last gift.
This time, I know it is mine to keep.