For Fall Poetry Event: Boxes

Two poems for the Poetry Salon by Priya N Iyer


Amazon box at the door
A bright red box of Legos
Orange white from donut shop
To go coffee handle- top
Gift boxes in bright paper
Boxes ship your furniture
Crayons, mittens, winter wear
Boxes are just everywhere.

There is something, you cannot box.
You cannot box you and me!

Whom would you put in which box?
How would you tag them, call them what?
Yellow, brown, black and white?
Straight, curvy, left center right?
There is one where I belong
A tea stained box with people brown.
How can I be in this box?
When the one I love
might not be brown.

From my box I gaze around
Look for the friend who walked along
through difficult days and years of pain
She held my hand, helped me sustain
I pray for her with folded hands
She kneels for me on the ground.

There is a box I can’t disown
My daughter sits there all alone
They tagged that box as mental health
Anorexia, anxiety, stress
Her beauty she cannot see
And does not see the one
who has eyes only for her
He’s in the box tagged as nerd
I love him and his parents too
Have known them since elementary school
Their box is red and mine is blue
They do not vote the way I do

Don’t segregate like recyclables
Toss us in like compostable
Organic, mortal and earthy
Throw in the thoughts, the opinions,
the faith and the ideologies
beliefs and sexualities,
The fat, the thin, the hair, the skin
Together and let them mix
Let the differences decompose
So you cannot tell
Where one heart feels someone else’s beat


Threads and Needles

A crisscross of running stitches of mothers
and daughters.

Woven in the quilt, a recycled saree
a refashioned skirt, a negotiated hemline,
a home tailored  shirt

Binding  an aroma of family dinners
and festive joys, stained fingers sewing
generations of remembered spices.

Mending, an estrogen joust, a teenage retort
With spools of laughter and incessant chatter,
Tucking a gaffe and bending a rule
Healing a heart ache by joining a seam
Salve on the bruise and patch in a dream

Threadbare yarn, still supple and strong
A crease on the forehead, a hem in the
knee, stitching together mismatched
emotions, the joy and the pain,
like a thread that follows
the sting of the needle.

Pulling, tugging at the sinews
of the heart.
Joining every tear and tear with love
and bonding of mothers
and daughters, who become
mothers to sons and daughters.

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