Tell Her

Artwork by Jeff Manning 

I’d tell her

I miss her

How when I’m in the presence of other mothers

I melt




every minute detail,

it’s not envy,

it’s not sadness

I’d just like to tell her

I’m so glad

So glad

You’re here

Tell her

My gut twists when I see you,


am going to cast a long shadow,

the loss of mine palpable

Tell her

I just keep remembering her hands.

never dainty,

never filed,

never soft.

These were of a home maker,

a home builder,

a home keeper,

molded a universe,

shaped & fashioned it into a cradle for us.

her fragrance of onions,

dish soap & vanilla extract

cilantro & cloves,

sandaliya with flour,

roses & sunshine & cardamom

because she’d been baking & gardening & making tea & making mula7 &

always making.

Tell her,

that boys confound me,

love still confounds me,

life always confounds me,

I’d tell them,

Take advantage of your mother’s lap, familiarize and memorize the different scents from her forehead to her palms, the texture of her lips on your cheeks, let her brush your hair as she reminds you how she’d put you together, whatever pieces you think have fractured she’ll whisper you all her remedies, even if your legs should dangle & scrape the floor, hug your ear to her chest & listen & glorify & adore, let her smooth all those hairs that are in need to be replaced behind your ear &

Tell her

Just as you’ve taught me

to wait for that telltale crackle of rice in heated oil

wait for that aroma

& then I’ll know

it’s time

Tell her

i’m still writing letters 

each and every day 

even if she’s a million miles away 


I miss you,

do you miss me?