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Still Waiting
by Feroza Jussawalla

I am still waiting, son,
still waiting,
for you to return,
for you to know,
that I love you still,
and, will wait, for you,
till the end of my time,
hoping always
to see you
before then.

How have you changed?
Is there bristle on your cheek?
That dimple?
Those hound-dog eyes?

It has been twenty years now,
And you would be turning thirty-five.
What keeps us apart,
I have yet to know.
Your umbilical cord doesn’t tell me.
It withered long ago.

I am still waiting to know,
the what and why of our apartness.
Someday, my mother-love,
will know.

I wait every day,
I am still waiting.
Waiting, to know.
Waiting, I know.

The tolling bell says,
“I beg to urge you everyone,
Life and death are a grave matter
Awaken! Awaken!
Awaken!”

PAINTING: Blue Divided by Blue by Mark Rothko (1966).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was impelled by the recent Mother’s Day, and the loss of contact with my only premie child. And, inspired by the call for poems, “I am still waiting…” I wait every day. Waiting is my being. The last stanza of course is inspired by the evening bell of Zendos. It comes from my experience of sitting with Natalie Goldberg in Taos, New Mexico.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Feroza Jussawalla is Emerita Professor of English at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Originally from India, she is the author and or editor, and co-editor of several scholarly works, in postcolonial literature. Her collection of poetry, Chiffon Saris, was published by Toronto South Asian Review Press and The Writer’s Workshop, Kolkotta (2002).