March 9, 2009

Packers & Movers
Vrinda Baliga

We sweep in,
trampling over years,
soiling memories with our prints.
Before we leave,
whole lives will be bundled away
into neatly-labeled cardboard boxes.

We find long-lost playmates
in the dusty depths of once-unreachable corners—
marbles, beads, broken crayons—
now packed with owners, who appropriately
are living in dust themselves,
trapped forever in childhood snapshots.

And the attics! They could furnish
whole parallel universes
with alternate lives that had perhaps been,
or had once seemed, possible
before some choices were made
that eliminated the rest.

We wrap the past in styrofoam,
extricate every last inch of the frayed fabric,
caught on regrets, snagged on reminiscences.
And once in a while, we pause to wonder
if it will all be for the better or worse
when these lives are unfolded elsewhere.


Vrinda Baliga lives in Hyderabad, India, where she writes short fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in Cezanne's Carrot and EveryDay Fiction and is forthcoming in Rose and Thorn.

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