In Lanes of Past

by P C K Prem

It is difficult to forget past and unlock memories
go back and collect remnants of left-out
connect each fragment, and search for meaning.

It is pure delight and joy,
for in the little innocuous acts,
you resurrect many faces lost to past,
and past indefinite.

I recall many old days
when you walked along the riverbed
with eyes fixed on clear flowing water,
plucked wild flowers and uprooted little plants
of tiny white and yellow tulips sans motif
and asked everyone the name of little buds.

You cried hoarse and called up friends
walking up on the other side of the river,
as if laid-back and asked with a frown
about the homework teacher gave.

You made faces, muttered angrily yet laughed
‘I do not like the teacher, harsh and ugly lipped
and blue-eyed he is,
He slaps and pinches’ you loudly told
and threw stones in the river.

Everyone laughed, laughed and looked
at the furrowed face,
and you felt small and humiliated, stood still
but in a distinct facade.

When each one walked a few steps,
you looked on and did not say,
for everyone knew you did not mean.
Alone you stood and stared, and threw the bag
none looked as if and ignored your anger fake,
you stood, bowed, picked up the bag
without wanting took out a book
and began to shuffle pages.

After a few minutes, you ran fast
singing an old folksong,
that spoke of truth and love again
and asked boys to see at the flowing water
that spoke and sang a song,
as plants whispered many words of love
and the air played on flutes.

It happened and you did not know what you said
the flowers, the plants and the flowing water finished
a great work and gratified everyone as you smiled
and suddenly you spoke, grinned and jigged around
and all boys played, played, disappeared
and then, went home.

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