Two poems for father

Preethi Govindaraj
Preethi Govindaraj is a poet and lives in Virginia with her family. She has an MSc Nursing degree and work as a Nurse navigator in the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington DC. She have been composing English poems for a long time. She enjoys writing in Hindi and Urdu as well.


You lie there trapped in 
a motionless body
which refuses to move
on your command.
Your verbal offerings are reduced
to angry, sometimes fearful screams
and throaty efforts to throw up saliva
are tedious tasks for you, it seems!
Your non-verbal expressions
are nods and slaps
tired childlike yawns
and naps to fill gaps!
Father's portrait
(Preethi Govindrajan)
I am aware of every line
and every contour
of your body- tending it
lovingly for three weeks.
I wonder if you are still
cared for, same as yesterday
or has the dirt creeped in
the crease of your skin folds?
Did someone infuse affection
as the steam was given
or rubbed in oil lovingly 
every time you were turned?
Did they spend a minute to hold your hand
did they whisper endearments
and peep into your soul
as I do in my imaginations?
What goes on in your mind
do you miss seeing my face
I am curious to know
if you even recognized me?
I am glad I brought you home
in your familiar surroundings
the window open to fresh sounds and sights
the sheets and clothes are only yours.
I miss fixing your glasses and tilting
the TV screen to fill your view
Propped on pillows- you sometimes seemed
keen, sometimes you closed your eyes.
I wish you would learn
to gradually recover
or leave the misery 
no longer to suffer!
I wish to bargain with God
but I know I can’t.
It is time to end my restlessness
and surrender, to wait.
Yet it will be what God decides
I will pray for your comfort
and hope that all my love and care
will soothe  away your hurt.


My eyes are closed, but my ears perk up
as I hear a little girl’s voice
she chatters away with her Dad,
her best friend of choice.
I open my eyes to see them
He has everything she needs 
he dotes on his daughter
she follows around, as he leads.

It is a scene from my life
a few decades ago
I had held my Dad’s hand
though it seems ages ago.
I had just said goodbye to my Dad
but he wasn’t aware
he nodded once, as though
he was really there….
I am not sure though his eyes
had opened wider 
their whites seemed duller
their brown ever imploring
searching me deep
does he see or hear me?
does he want to tell me
something important,
details I will never know.
I kissed his brown forehead
a million times
whispered into his ears
“ I love you, Daddy,
I am coming back soon.
Others will take good care of you
until then”
He turned around and held
onto the railing by the window
really tight….
I shed a tear and closed my eyes
to save this sight.
In my present, I find my eyes melting
the sharp swell hurting my throat,
tiny drops trapped in my lashes,
then gently flowing.
The tears flow finally free
as though they have been waiting
to hear a word, to see a frame
that has a Dad and daughter relating!
My cheeks have bathed 
in my copious tears
washing my sore consciousness
soothing my untold fears.
I am bleeding beneath,
a helpless, painful core!
I was covered in plastic
until now, it wasn’t me anymore.
Now I am attracting attention
but it doesn’t bother me
someone asks me if I am fine
I nod, I am okay
I  mumble
but the gush continues….
my face puckers
someone gives me a tissue
and I sniff into it
finally venting
after days of holding fort
of practical instructions,
and careful tending
my heart needed a time out
time for my mending!

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