Subha Manoj

While I Was Away

A Little Universe Called A Daughter

‘Let’s sit and chat Mama, make some tea

I want to tell you something, ‘ she says to me

I wish to ask, ‘How do you always have a universe to talk about?’

Then I see her twinkling eyes and shut my mouth.

She talks about how she wants long hair and pretty feet

And about her friend whose handwriting is neat

‘Mama, is it true that boys and girls go on a date?’

I roll my eyes, ‘Oh lord please, she is just eight!’

‘Will I have a chest like yours and wear a bra?’ She asks with a grin.

Oh boy! I swear I can feel my head spin.

Thankfully the tea is over and she runs off to play,

I feel better when she says she wants to make a cake with clay.

‘Is daddy having a headache?’ She asks softly

‘I think he’s had a rough day.’ I tell her promptly.

‘I am a doctor. Lie down Daddy.’ She lays his head on her lap.

Daddy gets the warmest head massage, he is a lucky chap.

‘Can I help you now?’ I have put Daddy to sleep.

I fight back tears thinking how she loves us so deep.

‘When I grow up I want to be a Mama, I declare!’

‘I wish you fly high and see the world first,’ I say a prayer.

‘Why is everyone on TV so fair? Mama, I don’t have such a face.’

‘Focus on a good heart and a smart head.’ I feel my voice raise.

‘My friend hurt me today.’ Her eyes are low and sad,

‘It happens, stay strong. My love, Things don’t seem that bad.’

There will be many firsts I know, as we go on

Some things will stay and some will be bygone.

Some day in the future, I will hold your hand and go for a walk

When I would wish that you and I just talk, talk and talk.

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