September rolls around like a pumpkin, like a pumpkin on a skateboard careening round the corner past the tail-end of August, catching me off guard every year, and I’m knocked off my feet and on to my keester, a pile of leaves cascading around me, muffling the laughter of neighborhood children.
blackbirds call – in the yellow orange light a morning shines chill and pure
It’s the memories that leave me agape more than the innumerable pumpkins, the shedding trees and goblin children already looking forward to October and All Hallow’s Eve. So many crowd into the season’s turn, old faces smiling from the theater screen of autumn’s cerulean sky, busy with the doings of a golden declarative moment. Yet one stands out.
a half-remembered song – a black-limbed tree of blackbirds scatter in the wind
My Indian parents arriving in New York with six-year-old me in hand with silk Singapore jackets on our backs from a well-traveled in-law and my mother walking home with groceries and fainting on the sidewalk from hypothermia in a freak snowstorm. Nothing quelled her spirit though. Ever. Her Christian faith was unshakeable. Besides, we were in America, land of freedom, land of dreams, land of promise. Later a church fixed us up with proper coats and my mother’s face emerged regal as a queen’s out of an oversized pumpkin-orange coat, wearing her red sari, gold-threaded border in folds, daring fashion, daring my smile.
under palm trees a new grave – blackbirds carve silhouettes in September
My mother died eight years ago this month.Continue reading “September’s Haibun”