A day worth remembering

The rolling fog lifts suddenly, her mind is lucid
mom recalls vividly that day spent in a hidey hole
when she was a slip of a girl in a chemise
rampaging hoodlums ran amok
as riots raged across her city

our collective mood soars on the wings of hopefulness
as she chucks her granddaughter playfully under the chin
suddenly she looks at my son quizzically
asking who this teenager is
memory goblins play tricks on her mind again
my siblings’ eyes mirror the pain in mine

but we are determined to celebrate the occasion
through the prism of rainbow hued tears
the milestone of ninety decades
is a momentous one in our family
bittersweet occasion; for this spry woman’s mind
plays hide and seek all the time

no trumpets, no masquerade party
but confetti, her favourite cake and
tea with Florence, her caretaker,
marks her day. A day that we assigned to her
for in the days when she was born at first light
a newborn girl’s birth date was not worth remembering.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Sarah, says: I want you to choose one of these paint names and use it as the inspiration for your poem. That’s all. Keep it as free form as you like. You can use the name in your poem, or as a title. You can do an acrostic if you want – or any other kind of puzzle poem you can think of. If you’re feeling like more of a challenge, see how many of them you can incorporate. Let’s just kick back and have some fun here!

Here is your list:

  • Trumpet
  • Tea with Florence
  • Chemise
  • Confetti
  • Goblin
  • Mirror
  • Rolling fog
  • First light
  • Hidey hole
  • Masquerade

79 thoughts on “A day worth remembering

  1. Ah yes girl children were not always welcome with the zest that a boy initiated. We have cone a long way.
    Thanks for dropping by my blog


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, this had me puddled up. I like “memory goblins” especially, and the “prism of rainbow hued tears”. So deeply sad that there was a time when a girl’s birth date was not worth remembering. For different reasons I suppose, my mom could never remember my birth date correctly. I hope it was a happy celebration, even with your mum’s mind playing hide and seek–Cheers to her!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re most welcome 🙂 ❤ (the memory lapses at 69 are way annoying, difficult to accept 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess that’s true–it just bugs me that I used to not have to search for words in my writing…now I often do–bummer!!😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We keep celebrating the small wins. Let’s
    >> the milestone of ninety decades
    is a momentous one in our family<<
    Nine decades 😉
    Because the love you give returns to you tenfold. That’s why.
    What a precious piece. I celebrate you. 👏

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This was so very wonderful. I’m just enjoying all the delightful phrases and the emotional highs and lows. My mother’s 90th birthday is at the end of the month – she missed it by a mere 125 days. I rejoice that you have your mother still with you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Val. We are indeed blessed to have her around. Dementia wouldn’t have bothered us much but she had such a sharp memory before its onset that we still can’t come to terms that she has become forgetful. I can understand how you must be missing your mom.


  5. Powerfully tragically…and yet she remains spry in other ways, and has been a survivor….in that, within the hopelessness there has been and are victories…some searing moments in your verse, and avid imagery, making for a beautiful reading that of course goes far beyond entertainment… your piece feels so sincere…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, she is perfectly fine otherwise…no other health issues. And she has seen her share of tragedies but always emerged stronger. She had phenomenal memory but it slowly started unraveling after she turned 80. We shouldn’t be complaining because she remembers all her kids’ names, their spouses and kids.
      Thanks so much, Ain, for your kind words.


  6. A poignant tribute to your mother. The memory is a slippery thing, and it’s hard to watch it disappearing. Those occasional moments of clarity are precious indeed. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, David. My grandmother remembered the year and the month but not the date. Ironically, my grandfather (who was gone before my mom got married) had recorded the birthdays of both my maternal uncles in his diary.


  7. Punam, a very heart-touching poem! It brought back a lot of cherished memories. Your grandmother’s story is very inspiring. ❤

    Family members from around the country gathered for my mother's 90th birthday. That week, we went to the beach and had several meals together. At the party, we decorated with blown-up photos of family memories. Each of the family members read a tribute to Mom and each selected a hymn for us all to sing together.

    There were a lot of tears shed at the party, everyone sensing that it might be the last time we were all together. In the coming months, Mom often wore her silk flower corsage from the party. I think the celebration meant a lot to her. She lived another six months.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing the beautiful memories of your mom’s 90th birthday, Cheryl. It must have been heartbreaking to lose her but you did make beautiful moments.

      My mom turned ninety just a few months ago. All my siblings with spouses and kids gathered to make her day memorable.
      Thanks so much. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ohhhh this is so moving, Punam ❤ Beautiful. These lines though:

    "memory goblins play tricks on her mind again"

    "bittersweet occasion; for this spry woman’s mind
    plays hide and seek all the time"

    "for in the days when she was born at first light
    a newborn girl’s birth date was not worth remembering." – aint that the truth? Why the older Asian generation never properly recorded their birthdays is beyond me. I think it still happens now!

    The things they went through, the things they could tell us if they remembered. Lovely poem, Punam ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I know, Sunra, things they went through…
    But the advent of social media has changed things drastically. It is funny but also endearing that the maids, guards, drivers and rikshawwallas now celebrate birthdays of their kids with more gusto than we do!

    Thank you so, so much for your beautiful words, Sunra. ❤️


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