Holika Dahan

Year after year
purity of fire
is challenged by evil,
appeased with offerings

A full moon looks on
as winds stoke embers,
flare flames
to a flickering dance

Right in the center
of crimson blaze
sits Holika,
Prahlad in her lap –
her arms a circle of heat

White sparks fly from her hair,
eyes smolder in fury;
her mouth sucks in air,
engulfs rice and wheat

Wood chars,
coconuts splinter,
flowers singe
smearing earth with ash.

Year after year
faith survives.
Holika burns to death.

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