Light is becoming really important. All summer I took it for granted, knew it would be there for me all day and into the evening. Now it’s clear I have to rethink the whole thing. I can’t expect light and I’m looking for it.
Today is a day of change. Chandrika goes back to college, with Bimala married, change is my companion and of course always has been but I only seem to count it when it’s big. Many years ago I wrote this poem about my young children’s change – you’d think I’d be used to it but, just like fall every year, I notice the change and feel something new coming to me. Something not quite familiar and yet experienced.
Together our lives weave an intricate tapestry
of dreams and jelly on the stove.
Your hair is soft under my hand,
yesterday it was sticky with peppermint and gummy candy.
I smooth the curls, form them in my fingers
think of the times we’ve had though
you are still so young.
We sit together, struck by the same light
in a cadence of features though change
is the fabric of our bond.
Like old folk music we sound off key
sometimes speaking in strident unison,
each voice grasping to be heard
words pour out into the space between us.
In the next moment your face beams
up at me, sure of my thereness
my solid rock comfort and I see the changing
face of the child I love.
The hair I get used to goes dark or light
the teeth I know fall out, there is always
a newness about you I dare not call strange.
I never know what you’ll come home with,
a new pet, a friend, book or idea,
you’re open to the world, to change.
As you shift in your winds I flip back through my childhood,
trying on memory’s tangle. We aren’t there,
you and I, our picture’s aren’t ready.
While I’m looking back, your eyes seek mine,
you lean toward me, keeping the corners of my life snug
like the paper triangles holding pictures in our photograph album.