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The Gifts You, My Mother, Brought on My Wedding Day

 


The Gifts You, My Mother, Brought on My Wedding Day 

 - Jhilmil Breckenridge (India)

 

I wore mogra in my hair

Alta on my feet, silver bells tinkling through

 

My grandmothers jewels on my body

Chandan behind my ears, a gold crescent shone on my forehead 

 

My blue sari was the underbelly of a dancing peacock

My eyes sparkling as I looked into the truth of Partho’s eyes

 

We made our vows, exchanged simple bands

His silver like the full moon, mine gold; both for eternity

 

Our families watched; fish and mochar chops disappeared, conversations tinkling like a forest stream

The black Labrador, Bhooto, like a mascot at our feet 

 

The chai was sweet, Lopsang perhaps

Mashima smiled, and my aunt Seema smiled without her eyes crinkling

 

Your husband, my father sat mute, an unwilling spectator to my wedding feast 

I missed my brother Arjun but I was heady with the wine of Partho’s eyes

 

The drums were silent that day, only the fragrance of mogra enveloped the evening 

Arpita brought me some purple earrings, moon rocks

 

Parthos baby sister, Gullu, brought shocking pink gladioli

Tall and resplendent Russian tsarinas; we dipped them in crystal kissed by sea salt 

 

You, my mother, brought a bunch of narcissi, proud and delicate, just like yourself

And just like your love, they wilted without care