The birthday.

the smell of incense and flowers and turmeric

hung heavy in the air

infused with shouts and heady laughter

a bride was prepared

to leave her father’s home

on his birthday.


the day long festivities, the last minute rush

kept the hearts busy

kept the minds away from what was not there:

the gentle reassuring touch

of a father’s blessing

on his birthday.


twenty years to the day: now the bride has aged;

time’s rough river has erased

all that there was; yet a daughter’s heart

still yearns for the smiling voice

of a father calling her name

every single day.




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