“Goodnight!”–for my Nana Dora


it was the only ‘expletive’

i ever heard her utter.

in furious impatience

at her granddaughter

or some other worthy 


she, a woman of The Book

from the Carolinas.

while in my worst moments

i speak to rival sailors

drawing heinous comparisons

shocking all listeners.

who cannot imagine

how a such a ‘diminutive’

ostensibly ‘holy’ woman

can turn

like the tides. 

i apologize

to my sons who spent some times

the subjects of such tirades…

and one of these nominates me the best/worst curser of all times.

but i am indeed well reserved,

until i read the news

or try to drive on this city’s roads

where people do not signal

or follow any rational means of order–

even frustrating a Boston driver;

or when someone does not treat me

in the manner that i deserve:

Linda Tauhid


Snow in Houston

i have seen my share of snow

on New England sidewalks

and in Chicago winters

and I used to always wish

for unheard of snow in San Francisco; 

looking out from a pub on Divisadero

in a spirited December.

but snow in Houston

is very rare;

it brings awe

and excitement;

it is temporary,


melting quickly away

before it can trouble


or get dirty from daily wear.

it accommodates 

a simple snow ball

when wiped from a car.

almost like snow

in London–

a brief visit

that reminds us

of the magic and beauty

of the time 

and other mysteries


our daily scope.

Linda Tauhid


he took me

to his family

and taught me a few words

of his language: greetings

and their responses.

he made sure to minimize

my role, but his parents

being aged and wise

still knew.

i sat outside and talked

with his dad

and when i tried to walk away

for propriety, his wife beckoned me back.

a small farm and compound

in a rural town

outside of Nairobi.

they took me to their relations

and showed me picture albums

of their marriage;

we prayed and ate

and talked

while a radio played

in the background with no distraction.

I know now,

it was not about him

it was about the divine opportunity

to be transported as such

and to view and be viewed

by eyes that had seen much

with warmth and love.

and the gift of building

familial relations from unknown 


and their places.

i returned to Nairobi

bearing a live rooster–

a gift from the mother

of his bride.
Linda Tauhid



she sat next to me that day

i had decided to give way

to full mourning–

to experience the bitter sting of death.

and when it seemed that i, a young girl,

had lost my self in the emotions and tears

of grief

she shored me up–saying “brace yourself”.

not since that day have i allowed death

to touch me in that way.

i knew of other ways to face its unweilding presence

to minimize its power over my heart.

so when she died–that strong, beautiful and brilliant lady that had stood next to me 

so many times throughout my life;

my tears were silent

and i spoke of her strongly and proudly.

because she had in her quiet way

taught me strength, forbearance and fortitude.

and she sits beside me now

her daughter that never listened

but still learned.
Linda Tauhid