The woman held tightly in her hand
that she had salvaged
from her lahar-flooded hut.
That’s all she had saved
& possibly didn’t know why she did it.
Something she thought should be grabbed
at the onslaught of the torrent –
Anything she could hold on to,
which is hers & hers alone
the waters couldn’t take away.
Devastation in her mind
should never be complete.
The photographer wept.
They say he used to cackle jokes
whenever tragedies happen.
His way of coping with everyday disasters.
Except this time.
The mind had become itself a camera.
He couldn’t click it off.