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Volume 2 | Issue 3 | March 2008 | 

I Was There
(for my mother)
Lalita Noronha



She had never looked more beautiful
than on her wedding day,
I know,
I was there
in the dew of her rose bouquet.

The night I was born,
she wore purple on her skin,
a red slit below her naval,
black moons beneath her eyes.

Angels came to claim her,
I know,
I was there
holding her down,
tethering her to earth with my umbilical cord.

Come visit me, Mama, you said to our mother
Who came to America twelve times to live with her children
And returned home to India to live with her other children
When the air chilled and the weather turned ill here.

It’s the end of an era, our brother who lives just ten minutes away, says,
It isn’t an axis, a balanced see saw anymore,
Three sibling in India, three here.
It’s a triangle now
Three points of the earth

I grieve for a time when the six of us will meet
The last a decade ago when our father died
That omen in the face of a historic renunion when he lay himself down and died.
So etched in her brain is the incongruity of that moment
That our mother is afraid to speak of plans.
And now we daren’t plan reunions









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