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.