The Old House

Poem By Shipra Agarwal

As I move around the old house,
noticing the subtle changes in its colors and forms
straightening the tilted pictures
dusting the forgotten corners
and sometimes just gazing at a window pane…
I get this heavy unsettling feeling
that the house too is moving inside me,
frisking my memory box for all I have stored anew
cherishing the smiles
caressing the half-healed scars
and sometimes just listening to a long conversation…

Both of us continue our wordless exploration for hours
when the house finally reaches that hard entangled mass
that i keep hidden away, even from myself.
it delicately tugs at the corner of a thread
and finds its way through this web of jilted moments:
unspoken thoughts
unintended words,
unanswered messages
forgotten promises,
incomplete conversations
baseless expectations,
unshed tears
untrue smiles...

It pulls at each thread and straightens it
then arranges them deftly in two separate piles
one it calls 'keepsake' -
moments that deserve a second chance,
the other it labels 'let go' -
the ones i should forget, erase.
It hands them over to me and I
smile with gratitude and let out a sigh
'if only life could remain this simplified! '
'The world will mess up this order again,
but you have me to come back to', says my old friend.

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