Today, napowrimo.net asked us to write a poem that gave a very specific set of directions to either a real or an imaginary place. I thought it would be a good idea to write a story of two people finding their way back to each other.
And hey! Why not write something with a happy ending for the last day of NaPoWriMo, right?
Speaking of which, it has been such a delight to write poems and grow as poets alongside my best friends, Kriti (Kittu’s Modern Mixtape) and Anupriya (Amour Infini), during this season of NaPoWriMo. The prompts really made us think and explore the sides of poetry that we probably would not have done otherwise. I am so proud of how all of our works turned out this year. This is my second NaPoWriMo season alongside Kriti and my very first alongside Anupriya, and it means the world to me that we could do this together. I have seen some truly brilliant pieces from both of them both during and outside of NaPoWriMo and I couldn’t be more honoured to have such friends to do this with.
And now, for the final poem of the NaPoWriMo season! Happy reading! Xx
A few steps down the memory lane,
You stand at the crossroads, wondering
Which road you pick will take you home,
A place that you once thought you belonged,
A few steps further, and you’ll find,
Houses crumbling, wrapped in vines
Like the venomous snakes that slowly killed
Whatever was left of everything we built.
But you keep walking anyway,
Looking for pieces you can take back home.
A couple of blocks down Sunset Avenue,
I don’t really remember, but perhaps you do,
That park bench you once saw me reading on,
It was a particularly beautiful day, mid-autumn—
Do you remember it raining red leaves?
A lush carpet under your feet,
You were just a few steps out of reach,
But I remember the burn when I felt our eyes meet.
Will your feet stop for a moment here,
As you reminisce this day you found your home?
Three houses past and an abandoned yard ahead,
Was a house, and now there’s nothing, instead—
We tore that down several years ago,
Now there’s an empty plot waiting to be called home;
Would you still look for
Any bricks we laid on the ground?
Or would you just keep walking?
There’s nothing left behind, anymore.
I’ll know if you stopped by, even for a moment,
After all, this used to be our home.
The magnolia tree, a block down the right,
Now stands taller than ever, branches high,
Pink flowers falling, its fragrance thick,
It has been several autumns since, and now it’s spring;
Would you take back a flower or two
As a piece of home that you keep coming back to?
Or have the ties been severed so,
You can’t even bear to call this your home?
And I can’t help but remember keeping a maple leaf
As a bookmark for the day you first met me.
You stand under the tree on Magnolia Street,
Wrapped in the air scented so, so sweet,
Reminiscent of the perfume you once smelled on me,
You once told me it was the air you need,
Cheeks flushed red and breaths hitched,
Shy, a little scared of what we could call it,
That empty plot a block or so ago,
We decided to name it after the magnolias you loved so.
I didn’t know then, we could be walking down this road,
Traces of you still linger back home.
A rusty, old streetlamp, just a road down the left,
Is where we first kissed in the rain, soaked wet,
Shaking laughter washing us over
As the cold air went straight to our bones,
We were wrapped so tight, looking for warmth
Barely sheltered under your fanciest red coat—
I remember as you walked me home that day,
You’d held on to me like you were never letting go.
But you did, and we fell apart,
Now these streets are lined with haunted homes.
You pace your final steps downhill,
This road was forever a slippery slope,
It was where it all went wrong,
We were so young then, we didn’t know—
Perhaps it was for the best,
I tell myself you didn’t bother to look back,
But now that I see you, every step closer,
I wonder if we still stand a fighting chance.
And we’re back in Magnolia Street,
Looking for a piece we both lost;
Now that we’ve found them,
Please take me back home.
~© Shubhangi Srinivasan.