Standing in the loin deep water
Of the sacred Ganga*
I’ll take a holy dip-
Not in the name of my ancestors-
Not for remission of my sins-
But to say
The gentle Shushuks**
Who are feebly
Leaving your miracle waters
A still word,
A mere photo-
[**Shushuks are the Gangetic River Dolphins, an obligatory freshwater species, born blind and are facing yet another anthropogenic threat.]
8 thoughts on “Bidding Adieu to Shushuks”
This is very sad, Sumana. One more animal on the way to becoming only a photo in a book. Where will it end?
I didnt know the Ganga had dolphins. Born blind, how amazing. Their smiles are the sweetest. All creatures are struggling to survive now, humans among them. I am so glad you wrote this poem and introduced me to this sweet creature, Sumana.
This sounds like such a wonderful and sweet animal… I hope it will be saved. I think there are other sweet water dolphins that have succumbed to extinction.
“a still word” “a mere photograph’ wow. These seem less than a fossil! There are no bones. Words then will lose their meaning in the 6th extinction. I am sorry for that, but sorrier still for the animals. Thank you for this pointed poem.
A delicate elegy for these blind cousins of the water. whose extinction is a still photograph pulled from a developing bath. Local, focused, and intent on seeing beyond personal redemption in water to those for whom water is the only element. – Brendan
Beautifully expressed, to the point of tears. How much we lose when we lose even one species, let alone one like this, added to the millions that have already gone.
What a beautiful creature. I love “standing in the loin deep water”.
I learned something here as I didn’t know there were fresh water dolphins. I hope they find a way to survive such a beautiful creature. I love it when I am on the coast and see them swimming in the ocean. Once, one came within 5 feet of where I was swimming. It was truly amazing.