we used to go

to watch animated films

and eat popcorn.

i liked introducing her

to all things new…

fruits that she had 

not tasted:

fresh pineapple, mango, papaya…

the feel of sand on bare feet

and the warmth

of summer Gulf waters.

i dressed her in summer dresses

and scarfs like me

and weakened

her coffee

with lots of milk.

a little companion

of so much joy.

will she remember me

as i remember my grandmothers

each night in prayer?

will she pass through

her premature adolescence

and be fine?

will she be a lady

who wears scarves

and matching hats?

who eats diverse foods

at fine restaurants

and shops madly

for bargains

and womanly things?

has time and distance

diluted my influence,

clouded the love we shared?

who will calm her tantrums,

assure that she is never bored;

make sure she  always knows

that there is something new?

i leave that

to the Master

of time and fate;

while i continue

to sashay around town

frocked in summer dresses,

hats and scarfs…

minus my little girl,

long gone–

my right hand.

Linda Tauhid