Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Monday, December 14, 2020

Through my Head

My children's love passes right through me

(like an arrow, like a bullet)

My parents' love steeps all through me

(like a tantrum, like a blush).

I fear death; there are deaths I fear more:

My deaf father sleeps deep

through knocking, my mother and sister 


My tired children sleep past the blare 

of smoke alarms, heavy

I wonder if I can shake them awake

like a pair of dead batteries.

But the world does its singing, then

my body curls like smoke

plummets, coaxes with folded hands

draws doors in heartache.

So let me tell you how I scan the dates 

of people's lives, guessing--from 

the headlines of their last year--if death 

might have felt like a blessing.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Tiny Notes

The tiny tree went up this weekend--powered 95% by At and Nu. 


While I was writing that poem about Chelli's moving day yesterday, I was trying to make the verses look like the many roofs we've been under, but it actually looks like a tree too!

Also, as she said after she read that poem, I completed it "so fast!" High praise indeed! 


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Moving Day 8000 Miles Away

8000 miles away

my sister is moving  

her furniture is being taken apart now

it will be put back together again, very soon.

She remembers how I arrived at her 

house in Delhi the week before she did,

how I cut my hand open unpacking boxes, how 

I made that a joke about my rakta dan--"blood sacrifice." 

I don't remember this story. But 

she giggles and so then I giggle and then 

we tell each other how much we love each other. 

When will we see each other again? (There aren't even plans.)

And I want to say: Take a break! 

Need to ask: Are you tired? Is that heavy?

But I look at the telephone; I just... miss you. 

There's more air than we can breathe between us.

Exile now feels like breaking--

like an earthquake--inside out, fragile 

as though an eggshell holding hatchlings,

a coming to--on the other side of worldliness.

There are stones in my throat all day

so I stumble. I speak slowly as though in 

a foreign language (all language feels foreign,

cannot say what I feel, clots like moonlight in my brain).

I just parrot from poems I read:

"Art thou weary? Art thou weary?" I dream you 

give the movers the address, but Bangalore traffic sounds

harmonize it into my name, send it--back in a whisper to you.


Friday, December 11, 2020

Out with At

I thought At would be embarrassed by my mask vigilantism while we were out on the riverwalk, but actually, he approved. He kept joking that I might have sounded more authoritative if he'd dressed better--he had to raid the hall closet for hat and gloves and has on a Doctor Who hat and flip-top mittens from Nu's elementary school days. Not quite intimidating enough despite the hammy pose in this picture.

We saw a license plate that said "DRKING," which the new 21-year-old misread as "drinking" and then wondered if the missing letter was because it mimicked how a tipsy person might slur their words. I pointed out that it was probably "Dr. King"--and we laughed about his misreading and over-reading.  

And then At: Well, either way, that license plate is probably going to get them pulled over. Regular cops/ Racist cops. [makes weighing/shrug/balancing gesture.]


Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Monday, December 07, 2020

Sitting Pretty

Grades are in! Ahead of schedule! And they're decent--generous in a pandemic, but not inflated. 

I prioritized weekly assignments rather than a grand final project; that resulted in really solid foundational applications and a high rate of completed assignments. Extensions were available on request, Canvas was configured to allow later submissions, and email submissions were enabled for people who didn't make it. 

The research students graded themselves ("ungrading"), and that went really well. They need the practice for grad school and teaching assistantships anyway, and it gave us some good discussions on the rubrics and objectivity. Speaking of teaching assistants--best email today was from AS, who graduated last year, with the subject heading "office chocolate." I miss pre-pandemic office culture so much.

All that, yes. But my own school child seems to be slipping quite badly. Big A took down one side of our refrigerator collage to post Nu's sad report card as a goad. (I'm not a fan of this, but was vetoed.)

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Leap of Faith

I'm attracted to gravity, the weight of it

the way it settles into a palimpsest 

of belonging 

Children   best friends   puppies   homes 

friends   in-laws   all them totems 

of becoming

Yet: new laughter moves me, old words 

bend my mind--press guesses 

into being

We can enter spaces where time fades 

earth freezes or poles thaw us

into belief

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Early to Bed

I started the day with a backache, developed a headache, and then the heartache came. 

So here's me putting myself to bed with my chocolate and hot tea before the sun goes down.

(I'd made dinner early. AND took some over to L&T. AND showed the kids how to serve themselves around 5. And then, I left everyone to their own DEVICES. Haha.)

(When I woke up later, I found they'd put the leftovers away and started the dishwasher. 💕💕)

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Palate cleanser

They were being so cute together while I made dinner--I asked to take a picture... and then they totally hammed it up. My kids are all irony and cheese (and honey). 

(And yes, that's ANOTHER whole pumpkin pie L brought over because these guys loved the first one so much.)

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Just another day in Finals Week

A dry, windy, wind-chime-y kind of day. 

I graded all day, loving the way student final projects have turned out.

I raked a path through the backyard in the afternoon in the hope of persuading my human kids to resume their pre-prandial walks with me... The puppy kids are, of course, there whenever I'm out. 

I started a poem and stumbled into a good idea that's proving difficult to execute.

I've figured out everyone's holiday presents... just a few more things on their way. I've already gussied up/boxed/bagged most of the fam's presents too!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Counting smiles

The picture looks like it's just a happy Scout, but At's hand petting him is pretty content too... With At home, all of us are a bit more smiley. The stream of teasing, self owns, and friendly eye-rolling is at an all time high too. Big A and I are--not so secretly--relieved to have At shelter at home with us rather than in the wide, virus-y world outside.

Nostalgic use of family idiolect has made a comeback in a big way. At made me snort the other day, because he was 'sad' we never use the term "socker" anymore. Luckily for me, it's because the kids stopped leaving their socks all over the place. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020


I was nearly up to Sparty when Big A texted me asking where I was and then called me (because I didn't see the text). 

He sounded so sad; I asked him if he wanted me to come home right away. And he said please, so I turned around* and began to run** home. 

(*I didn't really expect him to accept my grand offer. **And I really couldn't run all the way home. Just sprinted here and there. Ha.)

It's not my story to tell; all I can say is I'm so glad there are doctors like Big A out in the world.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Sweet Meh-mories

One child sets the table; the other punches them.

And then they both stomp around shouting "Where the food go/Where does the food go?" until it becomes a chant. Not sure if they're asking where the food went or where the food should be placed. But they're laughing too much to tell me. Then it becomes a song and somehow even after many, many hours on my feet, it really seems infectiously funny rather than annoying. Eventually, the table is set; Big A gets some photos; we eat. It's "the best Thanksgiving meal ever/really knocked it out of the park" for the 10th or 11th year in a row. All these dorks are nothing but kind.

There was an aborted game of You are a Liar and another of Coup, and the Criterion edition of The Gold Rush and more of L's pumpkin pie and Big A's whipped cream. Repeat.

So grateful. Really don't know how I would make it without these two and the rest of my crew. (11/26/2020)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Just us

(Huckie must already be at the table starting without the rest of us.)

A couple of "trunksgiving" exchanges (LB+TB)
a couple of food drop offs (SB + KS)

It wasn't last year, or even close to our regular but it was happy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Prep Mode

These guys kept me company while I got some Thanksgiving dinner prep done today. As At pointed out, this picture encapsulates them perfectly: Huck can barely contain herself and Scout is pretending stoicism.

It's going to be so strange doing a Thanksgiving with just us. We each picked a dish, and that gave us a more tightly edited menu, but it's not exactly spare. So far, my cranberry chutney turned out amazing (extra onion, apple, and fresh ginger... yum). No one actually asked for it, but what else am I going to goop over the roast root veggies which were my pick?!

Also keeping me company--EM's pistachio baklava. She had "extra" and brought me a whole plateful. I am so thankful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


My babies are beautiful. 

(These human babies and also the two puppy babies asking for scraps by my side.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

At's Home

It's a school night and Nu had to head to bed at 9, but Scout and Huck (and Big A and I) gave At a proper bonkers welcome when he got home from college. (We'd asked him to come home last week when the number of active cases had spiked on campus, so he tied up a few organizing loose ends and agreeably headed back.)

Our governor has mandated no in-person classes from tomorrow as part of our three-week "pause" anyway. 

The one thing the pandemic has given me is bonus time with my first-born. And also, somehow--the time and desire to disappear into a long, hot bath.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

A Sweet Diwali

Happy Diwali! Sweetness and light from our home to yours!


I usually buy sweets at the Indian store for Diwali (or some years it has been a bar of chocolate or an assortment of fruit), but this year I watched a few Pinterest videos and made my own versions of coconut ladoo and besan ladoo. 2020 just seemed to call out for some extra effort. 

We're a difficult family to make sweets for--At is sweet averse and allergic to all nutty things; Nu can eat some nuts; Scout and Huck can't eat raisins and sultanas; and Big A won't eat anything too sweet.  

I added pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, and dried cranberries to the coconut ladoo and almonds and pistachios to the besan ladoo (and given that besan is chickpea flour, that one must be pretty high in protein!). In this Diwali iteration, At could theoretically eat the coconut ones, Nu will eat both, and I can safely share bites with Scout and Huck without hurting them (as I subbed out the raisins). Big A may still not like/eat them.

We've packed boxes for LB, TB, BS, and EM, and sent proud pictures to every family chat.