leaving: a poem
Photo: Megha Ajith/Unsplash

Photo: Megha Ajith/Unsplash

it was an ordinary day until the call came

and you were no longer a part of

this world, this exchanging of breath and smiles

i remember it vividly, tears pouring forth in a taxi as it sped

toward a place you no longer were at

and i wondered, where your spirit was at this very moment

as i pushed my body, my alive-ness, into

that cold, silent, sterile room where you lay


you, but yet not you


in this sweet span of time from then to now

the sun has risen a million times; the moon too

has dipped itself daily into silvery seas

i’ve covered more ground on this earth than i ever expected

left things and people and places

with sadness, yes, but also with joy

because you taught me that life should never be lived looking back

every second i exist is a precious gift

and there is no such thing as an ordinary day

as these words spill out in the quiet and

i feel you near to me

Sometimes I just feel a need to write. Not for a purpose or a particular agenda. But just an urge to express… something.

It’s a gorgeous summer-y Sunday evening. We are moving to a new apartment in Vancouver and have been in the midst of packing boxes and selling furniture, which is why my thoughts have been circling around the word “leaving”. Something compelled me to write the words above, in the here and now. No edits, no attention to form or whatever, just a spurt of free writing that my fingers were led to embark on. And I think that’s what being creative is really all about - not about selling some form of art or message that we hope appeals to someone else, but staying true to yourself, your story, and your gifts.

Though I am obviously not a poet, I find it a kind of cathartic release when something in my spirit seems to bubble up and words just ooze out of my being. In this case, this collection of words are about my grandma. She passed away many years ago while I was in university. I remember my grandma fondly, and I strive to remember her, since it is only in my memories that she is “alive” in some sense…

Is it weird that in the most ordinary moments of your day, you are reminded of the people you love, the people who were once so real and so present in your life? I don’t know why this occurs, but I feel like when it does, we have to pay attention to it. Not pretend it didn’t happen but lean in, be still, let the activity around us lapse, and just… honour the memory and the emotions that arise.

You are loved, porpor. I miss you.