Hold My Hand, Just Once

Open the door
the walls are washed shades of magnolia.
Papers with names of people
like dry leaves shored on the bank.
I pick one after another:
names that his fading memory scribbled

behind a bill, at the back of a calendar, bus ticket.
Like a sieve they drained through his porous brain,
letters ran away from his fingers.
Sad eyes smoked dark like the mist over the river: I held
his hands, the moons on his nails I remember
from my child days.

Open the windows, let the crows sit near me
feed them rice balls with black sesame seeds.
Call out to them – hear them croon in response,
cackle to scold you. When you cross
the threshold of life something changes.
You don’t need bits of paper to write names. 

Muscles on his face spread like lake without ripples.
On that last day. I remember him that way.
And when other memories choke me
I feed rice to crows.

(It’s four years since he went away. Imagine…)

Writer’s Island

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7 thoughts on “Hold My Hand, Just Once

  1. Your poem gives grace to so many feelings. And I like the last line best:

    And when other memories choke me
    I feed rice to crows.

    I understand on some deep inner level. Thank you,

    Elizabeth

  2. it is indeed sad when u lose ur parents, especially the surviving one. I have been told that u feel like that the umblical cord has been well and truly cut and that you are alone with no one to turn to. great uma. very poignant

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