23 April 2013

April 23 : The Magician/ Beginnings


In a slow grey-white memory
at the back of my head
I see her.

Running up the stairs
on her slender little legs
(two steps at a time)
with a plump little friend beside
she smiled.

Her eyes were large
on her small face.
Her voice shrill
with the innocence
of childhood.

Words came easy to her
pencils lived happily
in her little-fingered hand
the world was big and scary
but she was a happy kid.

She ran down the stairs
(in the depressing gaudy colors
that murderous schoolteachers
paint the furniture to make it look
like they aren't doing a terrible job
of growing these kids up well)
and she framed it in her head.
The words. The sound of them.
Selecting, regarding, rejecting.

The poem was about a magician.
The rest is a blur.

Her parents hugged her and
told her she was wonderful
(and they went on doing that
all her life).
And she was proud too.
Of herself.
Which is the best kind of proud
that you ever can be.

A decade later
a lover of words
a fanatic like never before
as the hammer of that
painful peeve of every poet
(writer's block, they call it)
rested upon her head
(where are the words?
Why would they leave me
at a time like this? Am I all out?
Is it over, am I dead?)
she threw it back
and remembered.

And because she was
technically challenged
and couldn't convert that old file
to read it again
on this stupid computer
she clenched her fist and her jaw
and hated her life.

But reason prevailed
and what matters
matters.
Sometimes it's important
to go back to the basics.
Go cycling down memory lane
with child-proof pepper spray
and watch for a while.
The joy of beginnings.
Of things meant to last.
Of happy memories
from forever ago
and poetry written
with staunch large-eyed
love for the written word.

Post Script :
And magicians never fascinated me,
I couldn't write a poem on one if I tried
(I did try) so then sometimes we surprise ourselves,
don't we? (seven year old me, what is up with this?)

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