Grandparents Losing It by Amit Parmessur

Drawing circles like a harebrained schoolgirl
on the pink fluffy blanket with her index finger,

She soon turns and detects ants along the wall,
and becomes a traffic warden angry at disobedient vehicles.

White hair scattered in voluntary neglect,
fat tears poised to maraud his bloodless cheeks,

He soon turns into a peaceful tyrant
who suddenly delivers swear words like ax wound.

They watch the same soap opera thrice a day
at the expense of their medicine. At night,

They open the window for fresh air and forget to close.
They call their daughters, any time, forgetting they are abroad.

Talking to me on the phone when I am at university,
he asks when I’ll be back with more rum and cigarettes;

If I ask to talk to mother, she discreetly lays down
the receiver to look for her but doesn’t come back.

They don’t need life. The robe of death has bundled
their brave skulls up and robbed my respect for them.

They have reinvented their view of the people around
and I am among the familiar strangers they won’t trust.

Now, the pregnant past dwells in two half-tarnished,
fully-bent spoons, in an empty bed with silhouettes cuddling,

In an oily comb, in a blue pocket knife with blade dulled
from idle scratching, in a wan page with muddy fingerprints.

Born in 1983, Amit Parmessur is a poet and teacher. He has been published in several print and online journals. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web nominee, he lives on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Mauritius.

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