Friday, May 26, 2006


With Ariel's permission( i'd like to dedicate this poem to my daughter, vamshi and to my son, jedidiah, who asks similar questions. the rains does whip my window the way it does yours sweetheart.

(For Nasudi Francine, b/c she asks questions
why I have stayed away from home for so long)

Sundays remind
me of chill and rain
and your story about
your pain,
dear daughter, caring child,
resilient recipient of residual loves
some kind of a sweet surrender
from a parent who calls you on the phone
to declare his presence
but is always absent
in the cold of mornings
in the warmth of evenings
in the affirming power of distances.
The parent you miss
does not come
with the brilliant sun before it sets
as your mother does
or as you ask your mother
for her to come home
before night falls
on our door
where I used to come in
into your huge smile
into your wide embrace
into your baby laughter.
He promises you bribes,
the father in a faraway place
where dreams are aplenty
and your missing each other is real
his bribes you do not understand:
Barbie, Dora,
crayons the color of the rainbow
after the drizzle
announcing some singing
or chocolates he buys
from stores he goes
to vend his private sorrow,
leave it there in the stacks of sweets
to mix with bitterness
and the promise of grace
in the wrappings of gifts
in the ribbons of boxes
to hide the telltale tears,
permanent residents
of his heavy heart.
It is always like this,
dear daughter, caring child,
it is always like this
for all parents leaving the land a dictator
created out of conjugal caprice
to find some signs of living
in some place somewhere else.
You have asked me what I do herein
the land of migrants
in the land of familiar estrangements
in the land of small and big in
equities you do not see.
I tell you: I work each day, 24/7
I dream each week,7/4
I write poems each month, 4/12
to make us live
to help the country live a life
to redeem ourselves
from this indenture in decades
from this wretchedness of our wits
from this penury of our broken spirits
from this deprivation of our captive minds
twins all, doubles to our loving
our people
to our loving our land.
Ah, parents go away this time around.
We all do.
Mothers missing a child's first word.
Fathers not hearing
a child's night prayer
on her bed.
There is nowhere else to go
but to leave the heartland
to live with a generous heart.
But we will all come home
at the appointed time
spring or no spring
winter or no winter
summer or no summer
fall or no fall.
We will come home to roost
and remember all the loving
and remember all the days we lost
and remember all the child's pains
we missed healing.
It is Sunday here again
and the cold
in this tailend of winter
gets into the bones.
I remember your singing
in the rain, and merrily so,
and your asking me
if in this strange land
the rain comes to whip
my window the way it does
in your room's.
I said, yes,
rains come into my room
even on Sundays like now
and they wash away
my window pane
where I always see you
cavorting with your angels.


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