We Hold On To These Moments

We hold on to these moments,

When her weathered hand adorned with silver rings scoops chicken from her bowl to ours,
When she walks up the stairs in her Christmas sari, laughing breathlessly as he exclaims at her beauty,
When I catch a familiar face in the line, our eyes meet and we smile, and I think proudly – that’s our friend,
When she bursts into the room singing opera-style and all those working pause in laughter.

We hold onto these moments,

When I walk up the concrete stairs and am greeted with bright eyes and big smiles; rajda! they say, rajbhai!
When she holds my wife’s hand, guiding us protectively through the lanes to her home in the red light area,
When I watch her wipe tears from my wife’s eyes,
When she sets another red cup full of steaming chai in my hand, and I lose count of how many times we’ve sat drinking together.

Sari Bari Moments

We hold onto these moments

When all hands are clasped to close the day in prayer,
When she sings along to the retro radio station,
When she finds out I speak Nepali and we talk about her home,
When they pool their money to give us going-away gifts,
When they smile as my wife paints their nails,
When they dance with unhindered joy, never having known the destruction of the line,
When the most intense pray-er is also the most earnest dancer,
When she invites us in to parts of her story.

We hold onto these moments,

When the spirit of God shows like cracks of light seeping into a dark room – in the laugh, the smile, the dance, the gift, the song, the banter, and the hands that hold – the hands that wipe away tears,

-yes these moments-

We hold onto these moments.


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