There are things that never changed,
No matter how tall and distant I got.
The Readers Digests tucked neatly away
The tea in the teapot with sugar cubes in a bowl
The Christmas candles plugged in at the window, year after year
The softness of your skin
The love in your eyes
I never fully imagined what the world would feel like without you in it.
Just as I was often shocked that you, in your simple practicality, could be a part of this haphazard world.
And when you left there was a small sigh of relief in me,
for you going to meet Grandpa and take care of him in that way you do…
that way that leaves you feeling necessary. Busy and so loved.
But that small sigh was overshadowed by the wail in my heart.
The pounding of my being that I did not know how to exist in this world without you.
I never had to.
On the rocking chair, my chest against yours, I knew I couldn’t.
And for the tears I saw so few times, and only for us, I knew you couldn’t either.
We wanted to keep you. We had decided we would.
“At least 5 more years”. “At least long enough to hold my babies”.
That last part still pains me.
In the natural order of things, we would have been together all these years.
I would have fed you cottage cheese and fruit salad under the patio umbrella.
I would have rubbed your back until we both fell asleep.
I would have sung you songs of blackbirds and pies.
But I live here. In this place that makes less sense to my island heart sometimes.
In this place that throws gasoline on my dreams, rather than gently bringing kindling to lay at my feet.
It is harsh, hurried and cutting here — nothing like you.
Grammy, I called on you last night in my darkness.
You found me and your hair was the brown of 1983.
Your eyes shone with the sparkle that left with Uncle Bill.
You held the cold cloth of surrender to my forehead.
Grammy, thank you.
– Nisha Moodley