A Poem About Missing Your Parents When You’re Old

Photography by Tamina-Florentine Zuch

Photography by Tamina-Florentine Zuch

My legs swing and swing
as I, sit here on the ledge, thinking
about the kid I was
ages ago, and am not anymore
just another grown up pretending
to be grown up
I think I am a new kind, a better man
than my old man, but no, I am
just his reflection,
maybe a little prouder and efficient
but he was the man I didn’t know
I wanted to be
Oh, I wanted to be like my mother, so forlorn
she stood, and waited for me,
waiting and waiting, when I was out
living the life that wasn’t mine to live,
with people
that were wrapping me in wires
and sapphires, and I thought
they were my friends, my brothers, my sisters,
but I have never been so mistaken, ma
I learned all these lessons, that I had no
business knowing too early, ma
I did not want to know them, all these people
With betrayals and selfish smiles that I thought
were kindness in disguise
I want to be a clueless kid again
that searched just for my ma’s face
around the supermarket
‘And waited for my father’s car in the driveway.

Now, they’re gone and I’m so old, so worn out
my eyes just search and search
for my small hands and swift feet, that ran around
and around the house
in which my ma called out my name
like a sweet and shrill bird, I was sitting on the table
waiting for my father to enter the room
and talk about sports and fables
about the real world problems
They both were my world, now that I forget
even my own hands and feet,
their features I see
in my own face, in this broken mirror
in my old house, so old is this house,
but is still new
is still the same house, my ma would be so mad
I forgot to do the dusting, it has been forty years, ma
I hope you’ll forgive me now.

You’re no longer here
to tell me to fold my clothes, I walk in the house
with my dirty shoes, and my father, you cannot
reprimand me anymore, when I forgot
to call you for two years, I remember now, father,
But you cannot pick up the phone now, please
pick up the phone.

’cause now I am old but I’m still young,
and I don’t know how to live
and I just want to tell you about
my long day and my life,
I made so many memories
and now you are one of them too.


Oshin Ahlawat is a young poet and writer based in New Delhi, India. “I believe people who write are like tornados and cyclones. We wreck a lot of lives; for better or worse. It all depends on the people who read our work. They decide where the damage is going to be; the heart or the mind and whether it’s going to be for the good or for worse. I wish to give them the choice to decide that. I’m just going to focus on doing what I want”, she says. 

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