dad after mom’s death~

i was never friends with that short-tempered man-
till momma left

leaving us trapped in unheard cries
a pair of vacant eyes searching
Calcutta crowds for that one face-

i discovered a fragile heart,
beating frail round a fragile Soul-

this was a person i had hardly known in my 5 years.

i could scarce understand that pain,
nerves were numb with countless questions-
“who i am right now, without a mother like my every friend?”
and hours i’d see him weep in secret-
(i cried years after.)

evenings, Dakshineshwar ghat: i’d hear him beg Kali-
holding tight my tiny hand-
wishes, and prayers
and i’d repeat. every word. mirror his faith.

then there were mornings, noons
sharing boiled rice, homeworks while
i learnt to lace my shoes, comb my hair
fake sleep hugging my fat teddy and fear

there was no laughter, no reprimanding-
we had put on skeins of normality:
home was a new place, and
suddenly we were family:

or, everything that remained.

©Mohana Das

Linked to D’verse OLN

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13 thoughts on “dad after mom’s death~

  1. Loss of someone we love changes us. It forces us to look deep within for answers and sometimes in our grieving we forget, we are not the only one who has lost someone they love too. When my life partner died, I forgot I had a 9 year old child who had also lost someone and was grieving in the way a child grieves. This is gentle and shows loss from your young age, of trying to make sense of it all. I’m glad years later, you cried and came to understand it.
    A lovely read.

  2. Very touching — and you give us a good glimpse of real life in your world, and your dads — both daily activity and your inner lives. Thank you kindly. Seems like Kali answered some of your Dad’s prayers through his daughter – “years later”.

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