Outside the sun dipped into an inky darkness
inside the room was filled with an icy silence
hurt my exhausted nerves
with grave tenderness I lay in her bed, covered
my face with her comforter, breathing her scent.
I burst into loud cries
how quickly the place had changed,
a faded lusterless bed cover, dusty carpet,
a jumbled collection
three rosaries, bobby pins, sandalwood carvings
of Buddha, a stack of international coins,
the clothes in her closet were lifeless now,
I found a notebook of her poems hidden in clothes,
and a pair of new slippers
I tried to wear exactly like mother
not to hurt her bunion. A pang of grief whirred.
I touched her clothes
gathered into my arms and gave to the two house
female servants who had served mother for years,
they kissed my head
hugged me tightly and we cried together.
I searched for her photographs at least to reaffirm
her physical presence in this world
one black and white photograph, now turned
brown, showed her gentle face, and peaceful
large eyes fixed on me.
I kissed her photograph many times, pressed
it to my aching heart Beejee, Beejee, Mother,
Shubh Bala Shiesser Lives in Austin, Texas. Poetry reading and writing is a hobby.
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