The Muse

(An International Journal of Poetry)

ISSN 2249 –2178

 

Volume-2                                                       JUNE -2012                                                    Number-1

 

WHAT HAVE I LOST ?

by Salma Ruth Bratt

 

This woman lost her son

When he migrated away

If he visits, and his warmth fills the room

She takes long breaths

Filling her lungs with him

This woman lost her mind

Her temper

Her dignity

All at once

Insisting on a man who didn’t love her

This woman lost her children

In one moment of carelessness

In a blast at the Argana Café

Someone lost a shoe

It landed on the dusty sidewalk

And when the king walked by

He saw it there

I lost my Aunt Mathilda, when she died on her honeymoon

She fell overboard into the lake

And she could not swim

I lost my fear of death

Chances for a thousand pictures

My perfect eyesight

My mother

I lost what I only imagined having

And my sense of irony

Whenever I lose my temper

It returns to me

I wrote a poem once that I liked very much

Where did I put it?

Where are all my dolls? My dress-up clothes? My bicycles?

Where are the pink pajamas my grandmother sewed for me?

When I was eight years old

My father came home for dinner each night

In those days I thought parents

Always returned at the end of the day

At nine I lost confidence in my father

I had never been dragged by my ear like that

To see the red paint on my toy car

I wasn’t even sorry to have scratched it

Until I was ten

Ghosts lived in my mirror

And only came out in the dark

Then I became afraid of the daylight instead

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