190. Mehek

This poem is for my son, who is now an adult:

“Mehek”

There’s a grown up living in my house.
Six times three feels about right,
To take stock of the meals I have cooked.
Feeding and watering is a process,
A slow cooker of dawning awareness
The blast of spiced steam hiding, for a moment,
The treasure that nourishes a body of ideas.

You always laugh at how I say that my uterus would lurch
When one of you was sad or hurt
But it did.
And when it became my throat I cannot say
Because I cannot voice what you mean to me
Without reminding you of what you couldn’t become
Until six times three takes you to different meals
Which will feed and water you and your curated kin,
At tables set for a revolution.

When you became someone I had to work to know,
Is when the recipe started to show its age.
And I took stock of the rote actions and dulled knives,
The sealing rings that didn’t even pretend to do their job
Because complacency had replaced function;
And the fact that ideas don’t reach boiling point
Until they are challenged by chemical change
Should make me want to do more
Than dwell in the glory days of the best meals I once dished up.

There are no singular values to contain you.
You are twice named, tri-nationed,
A titan of quietude,
A dream of two people who only now can perceive
That a dream reveals its own past,
And its fruition can do better
Than add its hope to old cabbage smells
If only its creators will release their grip
On the vessels that feed and water.

Radha.

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