The singing Bells

The bells that sing,

She stamps her feet to the tabla player’s drum
The bells on her feet singing with him the sad love song devoted to lord Krishna
Na dhin dhin dha
Dha dhin dhin na

They twirl around her legs all 100 of them
Weighing down heavily onto her slim ankles and tiny feet
Cutting into her delicate skin
But leaving no pain

They are all she has in her scary world of brothels and dirty men,
Of Madamji who gave her a home when her own mother died of sickness
But gave it with a price tag, using her beauty and skill against her.
She loves her bells because they are the only thing holy she has.
Blessed by Pandit Swarmi,
With them she can release all her tears, tell all her fears
And just for a little while,
Become the desired and wanted One

Written by
Jacqueline GF Friedman


  1. I felt the shame and pride of my culture. Thank you, it is beautiful.

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