A Chat with My Son


I told my son, be kind – it doesn’t cost anything
And it gives you something back, called “Karma”
So he asked me “What is Karma, Daddy”
I told him it’s like when I call your momma “beautiful”
And when no one is watching, when you’re fast asleep
She gives me snacks and steals sweets from me
M & Ms, gummy bears, chupa chups
And all sorts of sweetened toffees.

And then I told him, be kind,
Even if your Momma is in a bad mood, like when she is blue
Like the walls in your room, even then
You be kind my boy, even when she is old
And wrinkled and cannot give you anything back
Except for what her heart is full of
What we adults call “love”

And he asked me “what is love, daddy”
And I told him it’s like when your heart is full of jellybeans
And every time I kiss Mommy, some jellybeans
Come up to the lips, and that’s why we kiss
And those jellybeans never grow old or bitter
Like they are always in a fridge

And I looked at him, still wondering
What “karma” and “love” were…….

I didn’t tell him how cruel the world was
He will find out on his own someday
And I knew he too will know jellybeans one day
And I hoped he would find his own fruity flavor
Color coded as beholder’s eye candy

I told him a short story in bed
Closed his eyes and kissed him on his forehead
When something went dancing up my throat and on to my lips…

I could taste jellybeans, through of a different flavor,
Sprinkling on my lips.




Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld. wordpress.com/

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