Beggarly crockery.

You entered my small house

Disappointed

But also nostalgic

We used to play here so much as kids

My wife served you plain dal and dry chapati

In my beggarly crockery

And you couldn’t believe I could treat a guest like that.

You were taken aback

By my irritating table habits

Though I remember us eating like that as kids together

You live in a larger house, you always did

You dine on a dining table with forks and knives

And the most expensive China

And you were annoyed by what you had to cope with here

In this ransacked house I own

Whose walls still have the “paintings”

We made as children.

You were so uncomfortable sitting cross legged on the floor

Although as a kid

I remember

You insisted your parents let you sit on the floor

At your large bungalow too

At dinner time.

I asked you to stay for the night

Like old times

When we shared a single, ragged blanket

But you stared at the humble bedding I had

And said

“My wife must be waiting for me”

And I couldn’t help but smile at the thought

Of all those days in childhood

When your mom used to wait for you

But you wouldn’t listen.

I think we just grew up, I think we finally started seeing the boundaries between us.

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