Once there was a six-month-old baby
whose two big sisters
tied ribbons in his long hair.
Once there was a a three-year-old
whose teddy bear Tim went back home
but sent his brother Roger in his place.
Once there was a young magician
who sealed his lips,
and still won’t reveal his secrets.
Once there was a grinning host
of crowded parties and elegant dinners
who made the richest cheesecake.
Once there was a brother
who was the first to hug
his sisters’ new husbands.
Once there was an uncle
whose small nieces and nephews
ran into his arms, just like his own uncle.
Once there was a father who held his newborn daughter
like a bouquet of flowers.
Lamplit rangolis on the walk
torans draped on doorways
of homes on opposite coasts
his sisters await his arrival
silver thalis on their hands.
Bhaubeej – a day during Diwali which celebrated the ties between brothers and sisters
Ujjvala Bagal Rahn’s Red Silk Sari (Red Silk Press, 2013) is her first collection of poems. Her work has most recently appeared in The Threepenny Review, Illuminations, Möbius, Anti-Heroin Chic and Bangalore Review. She was the featured poet in the inaugural broadcast of Poetry in the Air (Jan. 21, 2015, WHCJ, Savannah State University). A semifinalist in the 2013 and 2018 Wisdom-Faulkner Competition, she was a Hambidge Center fellow in May 2020. She is the owner of Red Silk Press, a micropress of science fiction, science, poetry, and memoir. She lives with her husband in Savannah, GA.