I Would If I Could – Kashiana Singh

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If I could go back to my nana’s house
I would wipe the refrigerator stains, each night
I would however run them with kindness, not perverse joy

If I could wear my nani’s embellished wrist watch, a Swiss
I would leave space between the fraying strap and my skin
I would fasten the broken buckle, without hurting my wrist

If I could plant myself on my dada’s knee again
I would listen, rapt as he fed me almonds, but
I would feel his fingers, where the knuckles knotted stories

If I could borrow my dadi’s lace dupatta again
I would remember to wear it like a pilgrimage
I would celebrate her indiscernible life, hued into its layers

If I could hold my brother close to my chest
I would hold gently, enfolding my arms around his neck
I would not let go, embracing ferociously till my breath became an extension of his

If I could place my daughter into the warmth of my womb
I would tell her to sink her pain into the innards of my being
I would drizzle into myself, for her every speckle of sunshine

If I could do nothing when my son pottered around the kitchen
I would let the dishes sit longer, and listen to his voice breaking
I would linger around and watch him becoming a composition

If I could reassemble the jigsaw with my sister
I would plait my love into her hair with abandon
I would let her laughter spill into my bones

If I could bring a bouquet of time to my parents
I would choose the largest one in the universe
I would infuse the petals with an aroma of whispering thanks

If I could sleep each past night again on a pillow besides you
I would relearn the forms and shapes of your presence
I would arrange my head into your arms, unwilling to awake

If I could harness moments, collect sounds, collapse days
I would swallow them into my gurgling veins
I would make them mine, forever relive just as
the waves wash sandy offerings into an anticipating ocean

*Nana/Nani – maternal grandparents
Dada/Didi – paternal grandparents
dupatta – long scarf

About the contributor: Kashiana Singh, 51, is a management professional by job fullsizeoutput_1102classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. Kashiana’s TEDx talk was dedicated to the topic – Work as Worship.

Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words dips into very vulnerable and personal contexts but also explores the shifting tectonic plates of the world around her. She is from India, now lives in Chicago and bridges the miles by regularly etches her thoughts on her poetry blog. Her work has appeared regularly on platforms like OnMogul, Literary Yard, Best Poems. She is in the process of gathering her second collection of poems.

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