Happy Birthday Amma!



What if I answered the door and you stood there,

Adjusting the jasmine strand on your plait

Smiling, chuckling, teasing

As if you’d never been away?



What if I answered the phone and you said ‘Hello?’

The smile radiating through your voice

Entering my ears and warming my heart

As if you’d never been away?



What if I turned a corner on the street

And ran into you as you’d turn and say

‘Shall we buy this?’

As if you’d never been away?



What if I watched the sunrise

And turned around to see you next to me

Saying ‘It’s beautiful isn’t it?’

As if you’d never been away?



What if I sat with a frown and

I suddenly feel your hand on my head

And hear you say, ‘Silly little worrier!’

As if you’d never been away?



It’s not wishful thinking I know,

I’m sure there’ll come a time

When the ‘what ifs’ will become ‘it is so’

At a special place where people don’t go away



Until then, Happy Birthday!

I’ve couriered a toothy smile and a happy thought

(For you wouldn’t accept anything less)

On a ray of dancing sunlight



And I cherish your response

In Hamsa’s eyes

And in my own breath.



© Sumana Khan - 2013



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