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Memory in One

By (July 1, 2016) No Comment

In the middle of the cornfields lived Anarkali
Hidden in a cupboard behind the television
When my mother would tell me
About Pilani
And I would say “tell me about Pilani
(BITS, Mr. Birla)
We were in a house a maroon sectional sofa all soft edges
Television heavy set and square playing Love Boat,
Fantasy Island, tennis matches for my father
Who wins trophies
Tennis. Bowling. Trophies on a 70s mantlepiece
Against recovered Chicago brick

As a boy, he wore a uniform
White pants white shirt
He didn’t like wearing his tie
So he took it off and hid it in his pocket
Hindu High School Look it up on the internet but it isn’t there
It’s here in this room a fitted carpet overhead light on a dimmer
(The new place, not the old built house)
Houses being built all around us, ranch houses or not
An American cul-de-sac
Dirt piled high as basements were dug
We children ran all over the
Little mountains, paths worn away by running feet

I could say something about the new world and the old world
But I don’t think that I want to do that right now

Nostalgia is not the right emotion

For the passing of time, for feeling you are not so young, for watching Jane Eyre (Cary Fukunaga film: rain and moors and youth.) Something called the present which feels like the past. It’s hot in Pilani, it’s a desert. It sounds like water. Pila, Pila, Pila. You were so young then, Mom, and beautiful.

Madhu Dahiya is a physician who has trained in or practiced medicine from one American coast to the other, with stops in the middle. Other than an entry in It all Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, this is a first publication.