Memoirs of innocent artifice

Pic: Ankita Shreeram

From a dusty drawer, the ghost of a scared child peeps
From another, a stoic teenager
The child has scrawled a Wordsworth quote
Sitting pretty on feigned adulthood's moat

Heartfelt essays now bear the dust of lies
Of a pretence in half-hearted disguise
Memoirs of innocent artifice

In a blue jewelled box, a seashell lurks
A piece of joy, locked away for posterity
Un-caged, the memory flies
Loosening its grip on a heart that sighs
For all its inhabitants, condemned to be temporary

Time has left arrogant stains on the creatures of my past
Kept alive like bloodless vampires
Staring at me dolefully
Why have I not spared a single thought for them in all these years?
Never held them to my bosom
Or fed them with my lusty tears?

Erasers, mechanical pencils, dog-eared notebooks and glittering cards
A child's possessions
But childhood is no more than a fleeting memory
Devoid of sensation, of smell, of touch or sound
Childhood would be a fancy bed-time story
If not for these accusing diaries - hard-bound

I save some from the ogling bin
But none of them matters to me
Not really
Nothing feels real except the chiming of the clock
And sometimes, not even that

Some relics I wrestle with, like this delegate card
My hand hovers, and is pulled back by my pleading, bleeding heart
Like a husband held back by an emotional wife
The husband succumbs, the card returns
To the Pandora's box that is my nostalgia.

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