She did not understand a word
Of English that I’d read to her,
But every Sunday she would come,
Entreating me to read to her.
I did not read so well back then.
I stammered, mispronounced my words.
I did not pause at commas, dots,
But still, with joy, I’d read to her.
I’d read to her my comic books,
My classwork books, my story books.
I did not know a single book
I did not want to read to her.
Her palms were made of leather then
To help her wash the thousand clothes
She wrestled with behind our well
As I began to read to her.
They say she’s hard of hearing now,
Of seeing, smelling, tasting too,
But, Misra, if she knows your touch,
Her leather lines, go, read to her.