The Monday Poem: ‘How To Tell Your Mother There Will Be No Grandkids In Her Future’ by Ira Sukrungruang

The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Jim Gormley of the English Department. Enjoy!

How To Tell Your Mother There Will Be No Grandkids In Her Future

      Don't enter conversations
about generations. Use the art
of misdirection. Tell her the rain
is falling. Tell her today
you saw a cardinal,
her favorite bird, and it was
feeding its young seeds.
No. Better not mention
the young. Tell her,
instead, the garden is coming in
thick this spring,
and the tulips have multiplied,
their buds like hands in prayer.
Better yet,
tell her about the work
crying in your briefcase.
Tell her you wish
you had three lives:
one for work, one for your dreams,
and one for her. That one
will have as many Siamese warriors
as she wants, swinging on a tree
as wide as an ocean,
its limbs twisting and turning.
In that life,
they listen, those warriors,
for the sound of her voice.
They wait for her to emerge
from the jeweled temple.

—Ira Sukrungruang

The Monday Poem logoAbout Ira

Ira Sukrungruang is a Chicago born Thai-American. He is the author of the memoirs Southside Buddhist, which won the 2015 American Book Award and a Bronze Medal in the Florida Book Awards, Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy, the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night, and the forthcoming short story collection, The Melting Season. He co-edited What Are You Looking At: The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology.

Ira has published his essays, poems, and short stories in many literary journals and anthologies, including Creative Nonfiction, the Sun, the Bellingham ReviewNorth American ReviewCrab Orchard ReviewPost Road, and Brevity. He has received the New York Foundation for the Arts Nonfiction Fellowship, The Just Desserts Fiction Prize, and an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, and received support from the Blue Mountain Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Ragdale.

Currently, he is working on several projects: a memoir about his time as Thai entitled Monk for a Month; a memoir about his love for dogs entitled Buddha’s Dog; and a collection of poetry entitled The Green We Speak.