We smuggled the tooth of the Buddha
from temple to temple for five hundred years,
1300 – 1800.
Once we buried our libraries
under the great medicinal trees
which the invaders burned
–when we lost the books,
the poems of science, invocations.
The tooth picked from the hot loam
and hidden in our hair and buried again
within the rapids of a river.
When they left we swam down to it
and carried it away in our hair.
Poem: by Michael Ondaadje
Image: via madhuganga.com