Inside the sitting room of my memory
play the retired ghosts of past years.
School’s out. The summer heat shimmers
so bright, even coolers and fans cannot
bring down the day’s fever. In the garden
a chameleon changes colors faster than a
thirteen year old changes her mind.
The trees weary of the heat droop
over; dropping gold coins that curl up
when dry, flocking into heaps of fallen pride
waiting to be swept away the next morning.
In the sitting room my father irons a week’s
worth of his white collar job into perfectly
creased shirts and pants. I lean over into the
floor painting carnivals of landscapes, rich pastels
bleeding into the white marble floor.
Inside the kitchen my mother tosses red chilies
into pots of simmering curry hot as day. And my sister
straightens her curls with dreamy fingers, musing up her
life in teenage novels.
How sad that we should never offer praise to the simpler moments
of life, at least not until decades later when the sitting room with its
resident memories has gone up in gold and silver smoke
billowing into the cool, black night…