Loosing our Awe

Children are little adorable things; when they are not cry-y, squirmy little things and are not pooping and peeing all over the place, that is. This weekend, yet another ‘lost’ friend stopped over in town with his wife and daughter in tow.  The daughter in question has just turned five, and is in that phase of life where her unfettered inquisitiveness is allied to a a precociously quick brain. Whilst her parents and I are engrossed in deep conversation, reminiscing over the lost years since we last hung out, she manages to find my trove of retired gadgets and begins to play around with them. She settles on my Galaxy Tab and pokes around, trying to figure out a way to get it powered up. After several failed attempts she disappears from sight, reappearing at my side away from her father’s glare.

Uncleeeee, she croons, handing me the tab. I switch it on,  hand it back to her and then resume my conversation with her parents.

It is a full ten minutes later when we realise that she has gone incredibly quiet. A quick look around the room reveals that she has found a spot on the rug out of our sight where she is sitting, poking at the touch screen on the device. When I peer at the screen, she has somehow found her way into Google maps and is gleefully pinching and zooming away. The look on her face is one of deep concentration, almost as though she is relishing the power to zoom and pinch that is suddenly all hers. I remark to her parents that they have got a Web 2.0 kid on their hands; inwardly I am left musing on how out of awe I have fallen with the world.

For Gracie…

For Gracie, who the genes took…

You never saw
the thirteenth summer through-
before the genes
claimed you.

You always were –
the sallow one, knuckle-
kneed, paper thin, but –
the lights in your
jaundiced eyes shone:
through pain and fear,
and hope and tears.

The strength in your voice
never dimmed, never waned,
until the genes – like a
belligerent marabout’s curse –
turned you,
to a mound of red-
dead earth

You never saw
the thirteenth summer through-
but like a wound left raw
We remember.