The way a cracker fires up to the sky, and then blooms into scattered pieces of joy;
Like sprinkling water, is exactly how my father’s hand moves in hopelessness.
He raises his hands upwards, a little higher slowly,
and then throws his fingers from its closed bud, to the air opening up,
“Ohh…Onnulla” (Oh! Nothing) ,
with the “Ohh” dragging itself to the top and in “onnulla”, all that agitation and frustration
cracks up open, falling back to his lap.
I really don’t remember how she initiated a hug or being in her embrace,
her, she – my grandmother, his mother;
was it firmer, with left hand holding and right patting, or the other way, I wonder.
But this piece of movement, is so familiar to me, like the signature end note of a musician,
it was hers and now, I see it all growing in you, father.
The lines of worry piling up, just like the ones on your forehead;
how that lips down turn themselves, after nothing (Onnulla) and
how she turns her head sideways away from me.
All in you, I see replicated well, the worry, the anxiety,
the deep sadness dwelling behind those heavy eyelids.
She was sixty when I went to stay with her,
and now, you are in your sixties while I am here for this extended lockdown stay
and maybe it’s this inacqaintance that I notice as a bare connection.
Or maybe all I want to ask you is to open your fingers a little more widely to a hug,
and watch joy sprouting from hope, in a million faint moments around,
something she never understood.
JGeorge’s poems appear or is forthcoming in several online and print journals, most recently in “Mookychick”, “The Initial Journal”, “Active Muse”, “TROU Lit Mag”,”Peach Street Mag”, “The Martian Chronicles”, “FishfoodMag”, anthologies of “Boundless”(Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival 2019) and “Love, As We Know It” (Delhi Poetry Slam). Currently, she lives in Pondicherry, pursuing research at Pondicherry University.
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