For Baba-On the 10th Anniversary of Your Passing

My Baba, about a year before he died (2004).

My Baba, about a year before he died (2004).

the day we decided, your withering
body told us it was time
to shut down the machine
that sustained your breath
and let the silence
of dying fill the room
with new questions

we knew it was all you wanted–
to live or die
there was no in-between–
you wanted the light
to stream in and the
voices to sing

there would be no suffering
no question of pain
it was a life, a good
run of days, years
and your only regret

not living to 100
to see what was
on the other side
to test the animal
and the beautiful
machine of your body
so that you could

tell someone, anyone:
these days, each one
countable, certain
definite.
Like nothing else.
PMK 2/5/15

My Father at the Table

My Father at the Table

(on the 10th anniversary of Baba’s passing)

Baba, each of us remembers
you as the man at the end
presiding over and chiding
your brood flanked
on two sides of the long
dinner table where
Mother’s cooking enticed
us to endure your sermons.

Your voice was a call
to action, to live
and live well without
hesitation or fear,
your ordained chair
and your place
at the head
a certainty
of the ritual I now
long for each night
when the table
is too quiet and when
I miss that other
food that nourished me.

PMK 2/4/15