A Hundred and One Nights of the Falcon

Where I come from, no gift comes in round numbers. No ten

Rupees is ever given, it is always eleven, a token

Of not finishing, not ending, the extra one a harbinger

An invitation, a wish, a granting of plenty, of more

To come. Auspicious, we call it. A bringing to the fore

Of a promise for the years before the young. Where

I come from there is a tale of a clever woman who staved

Off death with a thousand tales, each one saved

For another night won, a full thousand and one. Where

I come from, legend has it that women sat vigil not 

One night or two, not a couple, a handful, a dozen, a 

Few. Stories are told in hushed tones of a full hundred 

And one, every thrower of stones has heard it, every 

Wielder of guns. Songs are sung of the women of the night

Who spread their wings, became falcons, and took flight.

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