Trappings

Before the guru went away
he’d put aside possessions
a neatly folded tower
of cloth (some hand woven)
a few wrought silver boxes
befittingly inlaid and inside one
some monochromes in A5 size:
self-portrait with trophies for the Raj
three seated men, turbaned, with implacable faces
(“saints” inscribed on the back)
beside them, a full set of teeth.

“He’s gone to die” the followers said
“Up the mountain” and they took the path
calling his name in vain
On a branch, his spectacles swung
specked with rain.

The guru had looked his last
on the world below.

Later they divvied up his belongings
all the cloth, the silver, the photos
only one declined. Hers, the spectacles
hoping to see the way.

Part true story inspired by Carrie’s photo prompt for The Sunday Muse