Birthday

Mom wanted a birthday celebrated
According to the moon in calendar.
We would wake when it was still dark,
Before the resident cuckoo got up,
And spread mom’s soft besan paste
On our bodies to be ready for bath.

Mom would dance camphor flame
Around us for our life expectancy.
Later in school we would be proud
Distributing our hard boiled toffees.
God what lovely sounds they made
As the kids hit tongues with them,
Tongues hit roofs of their mouths.

These days our mom is not there
To remember our lunar birthday.
The calendar page flips on a wall
Sharp at twelve of midnight clock.
We lose count of how many flips.

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