Lioness Love

A poem for Jaidynn

Jaidynn, my favorite girl. In the first picture, I caught her while she was moving some candy around in her mouth with her thumb, she is not sucking her thumb.

it seems like yesterday, I was holding
you up to the sky, above my head,
listening to your giggling gurgles,
then bringing you back down
to me, the look of complete satisfaction
planted on your infant face.

you were a lightning bolt of energy,
an independent force who learned
quickly how to move around 
in our crazy world and now, at age
6 . . . I feel like I’m losing you.

a trip to the park becomes bonding time
your GiGi says we need and I walk
with you, your hand in mine, as we sway
them in the summer breeze.
you are a gymnast — bending and flexing
your way through obstacles, nothing fazes 
you — nothing stops you.
I wish I had your courage— did I ever?

a Leo in a land of lions, you are 
inquisitive with just the right amount
of curiosity trailing every question and 
I hope I have shared the best answers
with you, my love.
these days are passing us by
quicker than I can count them and
I pray I am not missing out on 
bigger things keeping to myself as I sometimes do.

but you know me, you see my smile
as a welcome mat and you pounce
on me — clinging to my chest and 
I wrap you in my arms for the 
longest hug I can give. I don’t want
to let go. I never want to let go.

I have to, though. eventually, I
will have to let go and watch you
become the lioness the stars 
blessed you to be. while I nestle
over here in the shadows of 
your love, please don’t forget
your big cousin who will pull words
from the sky’s heart, wrestle a 
world of liars, and battle a 
carriage full of woe-is-me-ers to
keep you safe.

anything to gift you mother earth’s
peacefulness and blessings.
you deserve nothing less.


*Today’s Jaidynn’s sixth birthday. My lil puddin’ is quickly growing up to be a not-so lil puddin’ anymore and well . . . I am a bit in my feelings about that. Happy Birthday, sweet girl.


Originally published via Medium.

Young Minds of Medium Featured Piece #3

Subodhini Vignesh (Subo)  is a young one I am happy to have in A Cornered Gurl. She is encouraging, strong-willed, open-minded, and takes on a challenge like it’s second nature to her. She recently turned sixteen years old and the second way she decided to respond to the Young Minds of Medium What Do You Miss Most During This Pandemic call was to write about how she experienced her birthday this year. Her first submission was just as detailed and definitely a gut-punch, but this piece truly touched my heart as I read it. I give you, “My Sweet Sixteenth Birthday . . .”


My Sweet Sixteenth Birthday

Young Minds of Medium Missed Things Call

My Birthday Cake ❤|Photo credit: Author’s Dad

A few days ago, I found myself sobbing under my covers at night, with the rest of my family in a deep slumber. Until that moment, I hadn’t felt dejected for not being able to celebrate my 16th birthday with all my close friends and family. I felt a little lonely, but this wasn’t only because of the future physical absence of my friends on my special day; this would be the last birthday I’d be celebrating in India before shifting to another country, and my friends wouldn’t be there. They would forget me soon anyway, might as well celebrate what had once been- the celebration of the end of years of friendship and memories.

When I woke up the next morning, 15th May, I no longer felt the sadness that had fueled my tears; instead, I felt stupid and a bit embarrassed to take responsibility for the thoughts that had clouded my more rational reasoning. My friends would never forget me, even if I’m 1000s of kilometres away. So what if they are absent for a little cake cutting? There are still so many memories of them I can hang on to. It isn’t really their fault they can’t come — it’s beyond any of our control. It’s okay to feel bad for their absence — it’s human.

Out of sight, but not out of mind.


As of 15th May, I had zero expectations for my birthday — that is what my parents and my brother had fooled me into believing. I’m generally good at putting pieces together, so hiding something from me isn’t a piece of cake; it turns out, they hid an entire cake. That night, my parents, my brother, and I were watching a 1980s Rajinikanth movie — it being a reason to keep me up till 12 o’clock.

May 16, 2020- The Birthday

When the clock struck twelve, all my friends and family stood at my doorstep ready to wish me a happy birthday, and the beautiful blue dress my fairy godmother had gifted me turned into my rags, leaving me with only one glass slipper. Nah, not really.

My brother and my parents gave me the gifts they had secretly brought home, and all of them sang the happy birthday song at the top of their lungs. I was awestruck, to add to this, several of my relatives and buddies had swarmed my landline and Whatsapp with their wishes and love.

I had expected them to forget my birthday, yet they had won my heart with all their love.

I woke up to a video my friends had curated; it began with a picture of me in a ridiculous pose and sunglasses and then a series of pictures where each of them held an alphabet to spell “Happy Bday”. I was delighted and a bit surprised because, to be honest, for the last three months I hadn’t had a proper conversation with many of the girls — except maybe some Whatsapp “Gm’s” and “Bye’s.”

One of the most significant moments of the day was by one of my best friends. She had created an entire card and left me a long beautiful message which got me to smile so much that my jaw hurt. She and I were going to take completely different paths in our lives, and our personalities don’t really coincide, yet we are thick as thieves. I have always known that even if we end up in different parts of the planet we’d never lose touch. The gift of sweet words she had given me a pleasant reminder of our togetherness and friendship which will last forever.

She’d be amongst the ones I will miss the most, but never forget.

In the evening, I cut a delicious cake my parents had smuggled home. I was courted by my grandparents, cousins, and best friends singing the birthday song through video conference.

Throughout the entire day, I felt special and a little spoiled — a break from my scheduled day.

For me, my birthday was a refreshing reminder that everything will be fine soon, and until then, we are in this together.


I am not forgotten, I am loved — this is all I needed to know.


Stay Home. Stay Safe.
Have Hope.


Author’s Note: I would like to apologise to those who believe that, in this period where several are losing lives, I shouldn’t babble about something as childish as a birthday. This is a tough time for all of us, even me, and I wish to share the little insignificant moments that make my life more joyous. Through this pandemic, we all have different problems with varying magnitudes; each a story unique to the individual. This is part of my story.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

work of a different kind beckons

NaPoWriMo #17

 

Oh, Hi There 40!

Please, if you have it in you and the time to do so, stop on over and wish my big cousin a happy 40th birthday! I’ve always looked up to her and that has not and will not change.

Georgia Grown Southern Girl

Someone asked me, “What’s so exciting about turning 40? It’s just another day.” At first, I heard it and thought Hmm…maybe I AM putting too much into this whole birthday thing. Maybe I need to expect less and just be thankful to live to see it.

But then, I thought HECK NO! I’m not lowering my level of joy because someone else doesn’t think like me! (That thinking didn’t come instantly. It took me about a month to come to that realization!)

So, to answer the question, here’s why I’m excited about my 40th birthday.

  1. Every day is a gift. Living 365 more days is a blessing. Because so many people didn’t see those days get ticked off a calendar this year, I’m grateful for my birthday.
  2. I am ready to make myself happy. And if that means eating cake, wearing a tiara or being lazy all day, it’s a…

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