Saturday, 1 August 2020

Tanvi Jain, Poetry 2020 Longlist

The Trader of Memories


I asked a stranger I met on the street,
Will you share memories with me?
I have many and many a kind,
Of love and happiness of wisdom and bravery.

But those I shall not trade with you,
What I will is a story of great pain.
Will you trade my pain for yours?
For we have nothing to lose or gain.

Don’t we? The stranger asked with a glint in his eyes,
Fr you see, my pain is greater than yours.
Make this trade at your own risk brother,
For I have searched fruitlessly for many cures.

But at that time, only the riddance was on mind,
Thus, I bowed my head so that the pain may escape.
And so, it did and for a moment I was light,
But I gasped when the exchanged memory took shape.
It hurts all I can say, pain it was,

Although I couldn’t have said if it was greater or smaller.
I looked up at the not stranger anymore,
And found his face all lost for colour.
It still hurts, he whispers with wide eyes,
And I realise something heavy and true.
Everyone carries their own kind of pain,
That deep down inside I knew.

I see no pain is great or small,
It hurts all the same.
And no amount of memories I exchange,
Will ever extinguish that flame.

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