In my bedroom dresser, in a little red box
sit two gold bangles.
They are pure yellow gold
and the pair are a set, though I believe
they belonged to part of a bigger set
some time ago.
They were given to my grandmother
and passed down to my mother
upon her marriage.
They are very simple, wide bands and
wear and age have pitted the surface
and begun to effect
the integrity of their modest design.
I imagine that it was the kind of thing that could
be melted down and refashioned into more ornate
jewelry or sold by weight quite easily depending
on the circumstances.
I imagine many girls at the time in those Punjabi
villages would have been presented with similar
items by their parents before they departed on their
My mother wore them on her journey to England.
When I hold them in my hands I like to think
not of that long period when she owned them
but the time before that
her waiting for Papaji
by the gate,(like so many other gates)
her wrists, like so many other wrists,
still unadorned and naked.