A Time

I can recall-perfectly,

A Time,

Made of Gold


Not the gold,

That you both laced around me,

binding my neck and wrists.


Instead I remember A Time,

when I felt nothing but bliss.


A Time so great

That the universe itself was envious


There was once A Time,

When we walked along the SeaWall,

Salty and pungent breezes invading our noses.

The mud-green water calmed me.


There was once A Time

When I used to swim so much,

That the chlorine was a part of me,

Making my blood rush,

All dizzy, light, and powerful all at once.

My body felt limitless.

You both called me Fish.


There was once A Time,

Carved of Joy.

Silver anklets chimed merrily,

as I scurried down the carpeted-hallways.

My voice, young and high, rattled across the walls.

You both laughed, regardless of your down-turned brows.


There was once A Time,

I was made of sugar.

My desire for foil-wrapped burfi,

Never ended.


Was all I ever wanted.


There was once A Time,

We attended Temple so much,

I thought it a second home.

The chanting of priests still fills my ears.

My bare feet,

slapping against the gritty ground,

Carrying me everywhere.

Idols painted and plastered into walls,

bore their unmoving eyes at me,

Reminding me of my foolishness.

The dusty library contained books of mantras,

Along with children’s stories of Birbal and Thenali Rama.

The Bollywood films I always loved to watch,

Were lined up along shelves.

How I longed to dive into those stories.


There was A Time we all went out,

Dining on cheesecake, jalapeño bread, and Dippin’ Dots.

My favorites.


We spent time.


As a family.


There was A Time when you both genuinely smiled.


A Time when we all smiled.


But somewhere, along the way, change cut our smiles off.


No longer do I see the ugly beach that I love.

No longer do I watch the seagulls squawk hungrily.

I miss the salt-water perfumed air.

I miss walking amongst the hot grainy sand.


I don’t swim anymore.

Chlorine doesn’t give me power,

It makes my head hurt.

No longer is my body lithe and limitless.

It’s big and slow.


No longer do I have an unquenchable thirst for sugar.

No longer does the scent of Almond Burfi warm my soul,

It makes me want to vomit.


No longer do I wear those lovely anklets,

for they’re locked up in a box.

Their tinkles silent and dead.

My voice is no longer high and chirpy.

It’s low and breathy.

I can barely hear myself.


Only thrice a year,

Do we visit Temple.

The Library is no longer part of our route.

We don’t rent Bollywood films anymore.

Instead Netflix has come into our lives.

We just pray, eat and leave.


We don’t spend time together anymore.

We don’t go out.

We all stay home and do nothing.


I don’t know where it all went wrong,

But I can’t get the past back.


The future.

Is where my eyes lay.

Where they need to be.


I choose to keep the memories,

Locked away in the empty cavern that is my heart.

They are mine.

I can look back at them and think to myself.

I was at least lucky enough to have a great childhood.

I was lucky enough to have a childhood.

A lot of kids don’t have that.


A Time is what I remember,

A Time is what I love.

Hopefully, there will be many more A Times to come.



You gave me A Time.

I’m grateful for it.

Thank you.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
Our world


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