A lonesome old man
sat waiting for the last guest.
A child with silver anklet
came running to him.

Not asking for permission
he stood filling the little door frame.
Moonlight sprinkled as he smiled.

His anklet made music
as he stepped into the house.
The house was filled
and the old man’s mind was filled.

Even before the old man recognized him
coming out of the shadows of forgetfulness,
the child kept his finger on his baby lips
and invited the old man to play hide-and-seek with him.
The child looked happy and vanished
in the fearful darkness of the corner.

The old man was wordless.
He sat dazed, his brows raised in amazement,
asked himself, “Who is he?

Such a beauty is rare–
the beauty of all the worlds gathered together.
Wisps of hair looked like the lines of an artist.
Melted twinkle of a mischievous star was in his eyes.
The gladness of the honey-light was in his gait.
Who could be the mother enchanted by his birth?
Or which Yashoda’s naughty darling is he?
Without telling what was in his mind
how could he vanish so quickly?
Why did his happiness bring me such a bliss?
Who is he?”

The old man turned the leaves of his memoirs,
and yet found no entry that could enlighten him.
He found some light, but not the mischievous child.
The old man trembled.

Determined to find the one that had vanished
the old man made his eyes the lamp,
and his body the wick.
He searched the darkness,
turning the night to day
day and night.

“The naughty one! Stole my heart
and charmed my mind. Could he be
the magician, or was it a divine presence
from the land beyond?”
Thinking so, the old man was thrilled.

Moment by moment, step by step,
firm devotion took hold of the old man.
Prayed not to forget the one with a mortal body,
thought his body had become a temple
and, frightened, examined his hands, legs, body.
The Lord, the witness of life,
thundered an answer from within:

“Who is calling? You or Me?
Who is the guest of whom?
I am answering you as you called me.
Whom are you answering?”

1992