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Poem Number 88

How To Tell Your Mother There Will Be No Grandkids In Her Future

Ira Sukrungruang

       Don't enter conversations
about generations. Use the art
of misdirection. Tell her the rain
is falling. Tell her today
you saw a cardinal,
her favorite bird, and it was
feeding its young seeds.
No. Better not mention
the young. Tell her,
instead, the garden is coming in
thick this spring,
and the tulips have multiplied,
their buds like hands in prayer.
Better yet,
tell her about the work
crying in your briefcase.
Tell her you wish
you had three lives:
one for work, one for your dreams,
and one for her. That one
will have as many Siamese warriors
as she wants, swinging on a tree
as wide as an ocean,
its limbs twisting and turning.
In that life,
they listen, those warriors,
for the sound of her voice.
They wait for her to emerge
from the jeweled temple.

from In Thailand It Is Night by Ira Sukrungruang, 2013
University of Tampa Press, Tampa, Florida

Copyright 2013 by Ira Sukrungruang.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).