Gilbert Marosi

Jennifer Swanton Brown

Samarth's Mom

Samarth’s mom
                        in her sari
            is an internal extension of the
                        beauty of soils and waters,
                                    an exaggeration
                        of blue, cobalt and silver, struck
                                    out of rocks,
orange that tastes, that singes, quenches
                                    the hottest days.
            My favorite is the white one,
                        its green river border and serpent gold,    
                                    the way it lifts
                        off her plump statue, limbs, stumbling—

This small woman is harried,
            she apologizes and her braid
                        flips against the hem of her
            silk, she agitates
                        around a boy like mine, six, and a younger
                                    one, who won’t speak Hindi.

Her glamour attracts bees, her fantastic
            cloth, her startled eyes
                        strike like fists
            through the Cupertino suburbs,
a kind of beauty slides up
            from her hidden presence,
                        a kind not from flesh.

            She doesn’t know:
I would offer her smudged grace
                        to the hope of my girls,
            my friends, my self—
fluttering about her solid cinnamon skin,
            she carries her ancient knowledge fretfully, so
                        overwhelmed and