weekend-readsRangoli

Nandita Karambelkar

2012 Runner-Up

If it weren’t for the partition of unknown miles, my mother’s
mother might be kissing her now in the margin of her forehead

and hairline. She wonders: who gave us the notion of growing
up? Her heart lies mapped on her maiden front yard in India

where her mother used to shower iridescent sand grains
on the dirt-embellished ground, molding a life-size

portrait of Ganesh or intricately patterned mandalas:
Rangoli: an entity that voiced hope and wealth, like the

stray dog her mom fed every evening after dinner, saying
he could have been the son of Vishnu or Brahma and

by eating the leftover scraps of bread, he was diffusing
pearls of prosperity through her house and family.

I kiss my mother’s cheek, hoping to alleviate her aching heart
from the remnants of green deserts—the now foreign land.

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