Acts Of Home

It’s been five days, eighteen hours,

Thirty-two minutes and fifty seconds

Since we’ve been staying at my parent’s.

You wore your best pair of track pants

At home the first two days

To make sure you didn’t come across as shabby.

On the third day, you wore checkered shorts

You didn’t necessarily categorize as fashionable

But most definitely categorized as comfortable.

You accompany my mother in the kitchen

While she instructs the cook and,

Go for walks with my father at sunset.

You stayed for the ritual evening chat

Under the street light at the corner of the road

To greet his friends and introduce yourself today

Before heading back home with a packet

Of deep fried pickled chilies in greasy paper

Specially packed for her.

You stepped into the kitchen to make tea

Because of course,

Else it would be disrespectful to the deep fried pickles.

You wanted to watch the awards show tonight

But like every seven o’clock every evening,

It was time for the daily soap opera

They watched religiously –

This was a sacrifice they were never going to make.

You’ve been biting your lips for the past five minutes

And I can tell you want to try to persuade them

But choose not to.

I assume it is to avoid conflict

But ten minutes into the show,

I hear you ask them what they like about the show

And how long have they been watching it.

I apologize to you for monopoly over the remote

When you step into the kitchen with your empty cup

But you smile and stop me, reasoning

That this was the one thing they looked forward to every evening.

I can feel my heart overflow with love for you.

I don’t hold back from pulling your cheeks

And giving you a peck on your nose

Exclaiming how mature you’ve become.

You mock laugh and nudge me under my ribcage lightly

Before giggling like the thirteen year old you were.

You look out of the window and

Softly ask me if they were really going to accept you.

I take a step back to lean against the slab and sigh.

I can see your confidence getting anxious

As you refuse to look me in the eye,

Afraid to see a negative response in them.

I watch you subconsciously fidget with the latch;

Watching you as carefully as I did eight years ago

When you first walked up to me and told me

Your name was Arya and her friends called her Ari.

It was only ten days after that,

That you gave me the permission to call you Ari.

Unlike me, your nose would itch when you got nervous

And you eyes were pitch black in contrast to my blue.

My cheeks were full while you had a jaw that could wound.

I never told you of how I fought with them

When I decided to bring you home eight years ago.

So I tell it to you know,

When you question your relation with them.

I tell it to you so that you can see

How love doesn’t always result in the best decisions

But love can learn and correct mistakes.

I tell it to you so that you can see

How family isn’t always the same blood

But can be the smile and upbringing.

I tell it to you so that you can see

Sometimes parents can be right;

Sometimes they can be wrong.

I don’t take your hands into mine to reassure you,

I can tell from you eyes that in your heart,

You’ve felt them take those steps towards you.

It’s raining again and I wonder

If monsoon was the right time to bring you here.

But your grandfather’s walked into the house

Carrying five cups of vanilla ice-cream.

Tonight, the disney pjs come home.

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