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My Mother (1936-2012).
December 28, 2007.
Photo by Bhai Baldeep Singh.

My ma,
Seems as if
came in a pair of pairs

Smiles and tears
(song) waves and (dholak) throbs

Before she let me walk on my pairs
she gave me a pair of pairs
to me
a song and a letter
for me
a blessing and a prayer.

Pal Zakhmi called me from the US
—I remember how the Zakhmi men accompanied Maurizia and I as we drove to the hospital at Ludhiana, and attended along with us, the sons, to my dad after he had met with an accident in 2004—
Pal Zakhmi shared a couplet as he remembered his dad, the illustrious Bhai Saheb Bhai Dharam Singh Zakhmi, quoted once is his discourse:
Ma gayee chhaaN gayee
sir thaleyoN baah gayee
(would translate as “mother goes shade goes, so does the arm-pillow support from underneath one’s head”)

I said nay!
Ma gayee
birkh gaeyaa
chhaan na gayee
Ma went
yes, as a tree succumbs
to winds almighty
But, I now know and
say with certainty
her protective shade
yet remains
her embrace still
me surrounds…

Love for her flows
incarnate as tears
Oh how I cry…
Say I Gratitude
to the One
who chose
her as mine
and I as hers.
I offer at her feet
all fruit of my harvest
accumulated across
past mine present mine future mine.