Like parents, like children

Alone lived the ancient woman
home full of assets, life desolate
away the children have gone
following their hearts upstate
stayed on as the mother she did
preying on backyard vegetation
and only praying for resolution
never came visiting the offsprings
not the older, or even the younger
unknown she was to their children
who heard tales of grandparents
telling stories, and tucking in bed
their classmates at the play school
who could only yearn for the love
the touch, the chocolate cookies
of a loving, nurturing grandma
who grew up without them all
only to raise their children same

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Maternal instinct

What no parent should ever do
Mrs Tibbins did to her offspring

when still young and tender
its skin moist, palms closed
and beetle eyes full of wonder
the mother left her child alone

wandered away from home
in place of nurturing care
suffering a blow after blow
from the unkind world over

alone, helpless, and smelly it grew
seeking friendships in dirty pubs
scouring meals in garbage cans
and letting time live its course

years later, like mother the child
when was its turn to be a mother
did what no parent should ever do
and cast away its child, letting it go

for who could change the nature
of cats abandoning their kittens?

Teach me how

How could you, mom?
tell me that all's well
and that Barnie's fine
he's gone to a farm
to care for his babies
that he'll soon return
How could you, mom?
I lay await for weeks
rushing to his kennel
after school each day
seeking Barnie's arrival
only to be disappointed
How could you, mom?
watch me as I continued
with my reckless efforts
in pursuit of happiness
hoping for my Barnie
to come back home to me
How could you, mom?
pacify yourself each night
as I cried myself to sleep
pray, tell how you did it
for my daughter's dog died
and I've sent it to a farm too

East and West

“You know what, Mildred? I can’t wait for Kevin to leave for college. I mean, I love the kid, but to be honest, Rick and I haven’t had the house to ourselves in almost 20 years.”

“It’d be nice to be alone with each other again.”

“Oh, yeah,” Mildred agreed her mouth full of Julia’s fresh-baked blueberry muffin. “I get it, Jules. You and Kevin need some time off. The kids are grown up now, they have their own lives to take care of.”

“You two should go on a second honeymoon or some’n,” She added as an afterthought.

“What are you watching, Raj?”

“It’s this new American sitcom, Ma—Rick & Julia. Everyone in college is talking about it.”

“Ok. Here—drink this juice. Do you want anything to eat?” Mrs Patil asked as she cleared up Raj’s empty breakfast plate.

“Nah.”

“Alright. I’m just in the kitchen chatting with Geetha aunty. Let me know if you want anything.”

“Ok.”

“So… how’s it like having Raj back home?” Mrs Patil’s neighbour asked as she entered the kitchen.

“Oh, Geetha! It’s wonderful! I was so bored and Raj’s father doesn’t come home until dinner time—he’s always busy with his business. I was starting to feel depressed.”

“Oh, I wish Raj had a longer holiday,” she stopped chopping onions and turned to face Mrs. Geetha, “with him around, it’s like my life’s got purpose again.”

“I’m making his favourite biriyani today,” she announced without apparent reason her eyes beaming with joy.

Survival of the fittest

Two-by-two, the students of Jasper High lined one after the other, following their creative arts teacher Ms. Richards who, in turn, followed the museum guide. It wasn’t the first time that eight graders took a field trip to the Museum of Ancient and Modern Art. It was part of the annual curriculum, and there was always something new each time.

This year, it was a pining mother lamenting her stillborn child. Visitors queued all along the hallway, awaiting their turn to see the well-guarded portrait. World renowned artist, Huge, had replicated humankind’s most primitive emotion—love—in its unadulterated form. The enthralling special exhibit was on loan the art museum in New York. To all this information, Ms. Richards nodded with polite curiosity.

“Love like I’ve never seen before,” read the placard. Students oohed and aahed when it was their turn to ogle at the art. Ms. Richards couldn’t help agree with the artist—she had never seen love so pure.

“I apologise for the delay,” the guide was saying. “We had to increase security ever since someone tried to steal the portrait two weeks ago.”


Back at the police station, the policeman’s eye gleamed with joy. He’d apprehended the culprit—a twenty-two year old unemployed art graduate.

He admitted to the crime, “I don’t care about love. I’m trying to survive.”