Author Archives: Shashi Bhat

Shashi Bhat

About Shashi Bhat

Shashi Bhat's novel, The Family Took Shape, was released from Cormorant Books in 2013. Her stories have appeared in PRISM international, EVENT, The New Quarterly, The Threepenny Review, The Missouri Review and other journals. She has been a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize, for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and was longlisted for the Journey Prize. She teaches creative writing at Douglas College and is the editor of EVENT magazine.

Recalibrating

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1.
When my mother flew
across the Atlantic, in autumn 1979,
the flight attendant served her a croissant
like two conch shells
placed open-end-together
on the breakfast tray.
When my mother, pointing, asked,
what is it?
the word, croissant
which she could not have spelled—
curled unfamiliar
in her lexicon. She left the bread uneaten.
Alarmed by its flaking texture,
she thought it had come from the sea.

2.
Because she’d leapt in cotton sari
on the left side of the road to
catch moving busses
on Kerala hills, had
ridden rickshaws, paid a fist
of rupees to a stubbled haggling driver
who spat tobacco at her Bata shoes,
driving down the 404 felt like adjusting
an overhead transparency,
slightly left and slightly right,
recalibrating.

3.
I can’t speak the language
that she dreams in.
At Winners
we pass statues of decorated
elephants, in her eyes that recognition
like opening a box of winter clothes
from last year,
that touch of joy—

oh, I remember you.

Dusty Roads Walked by Tia Mushka

Dusty Roads Walked by Tia Mushka