My Niece the Slam Poet

When you were little – very very little –
I would turn your pajamaed feet up
Bump them with my nose until
You squeaked. In protest, amusement,
Annoyance, recusement,
Who knows.

When you were a little less little,
You would stand over my newborn
And earnestly lecture her by the hour.
Don’t listen to anyone, I heard you say once,
You just do whatever you want.

A little more less little, and stories dropped
From you like the monsoons, drenching
Us all in a deluge of images, floods of plots.
Then you became not little at all.
And we waited for the words to fall.
But they clung to the paper on which you left them
Swaddled in sheets, jealous to be found.

And here you are, with such a big voice
And me, speechless, at this thundering sound.


(Inspired by Ananya Pandey, a real life poet, who is also a super hero in The Book of Guardians Series)


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