Wish List

by Iona Mandal

I woke up from late afternoon slumber
Caught you, hands curled in action
Back arched against the Christmas tree
Eyes gleaming towards the waning December sun

You clutched a Yankee candle that sat stil
The leftover wax arresting it
To the prison of the windowsill
From the last time we had a candlelit dinner

I smiled faintly as I heard you
Pray out loud, to St. Nicholas
It was the first and maybe the last time
I’d see you like a child

Eyes locked intensely in slits
You looked concerned
I listened to your mantra
As you asked for a long and deep glass jar

You wanted it brimming with honey
To smoothen the rough edges
Of the bumpy road
That lay ahead of us

As you walked upstairs to your room
To lay down, still and silent than ever
I went to bed thinking about honey
And woke up
A queer taste of salted caramel in my mouth.