In four years, she gave me all her thirty-eight,
That, without a jump, might have been
Half a century, nearly. I cannot talk in shoulds
And bitter could haves because we really, truly,
Never know. It was April last month, when
I thought of how I wished she was here, for
By then, she would have given me fifteen.
Fifteen years of life that I can only celebrate
And hold as close as the first few, when
It wasn't only a heavenly presence of sorts
That summed up my mother. I've learnt
Some since then, I'd like to say, I've grown up.
I've written poems to prove it, and I can
Pull her life out of book, so that you know
I know her. Knew her. Desperately want to.
The thrill she felt at the top of a hill,
The joy only the stars could give her.
I see little bits of her, we all do. In my cousin,
Who shares not just ambitions and a strange
Form of eye-illness with her, but the same
Crazy energy. In my sister, whose slender fingers
Can do the same tricks hers did, and of course,
The tongue-rolling. I got that. I got language,
And nature, but struggled with science. That
Has been my tribute to her, the reason I won't
Drop biology. The reason I'll never give away
Her 3000-page encyclopedias with neatly scribbled
Intellect down the margins. I want to do
Everything, all at once, so that I can be proud.
Of being my mother's daughter, of having once
Had her all and know, that she has nothing less.