Dot on forehead
And the red powder along your parted hairs, like a red brick road.
The smell of roses, temples, and all things holy, heartbreaking, and nostalgic.
The thought of gods and a plate full of flowers for offerings,
Held by arms close to your frightened chest; a plate full of hopes and aspirations for your husband and children.
You are the adorable mothers of the east,
painfully sweet, and painfully strong for the sacrifices you’ve made.
In godly stone icons I see you
In every place of worship, you stand.
I miss you so
mothers, grandmas, aunties
You are so far away in my distant memory.
You shimmer along the flickering lamplights of the hilltop temple with your golden jewelry adorned,
Red beads around your neck and red cotton saree
Red dot on forehead and the red powder,
Holy and auspicious like goddess Laxmi
And I can never be half the woman you are.