I woke debilitated by dreams—not nightmares, not even
unpleasant dreams, but dreams so sustainedly set in my
childhood that it seemed as though they were trying to
tell me something, trying to get a message through: like,
here are the props and the scenery, surely you must guess
the script? You might think that you further away you got
from childhood the less prominently it would figure in
your thoughts and dreams; on the other hand, the older
we get, the more the past piles up behind us. Day by day
we make fresh past, adding to the pile. In certain frames
of mind one’s consciousness of this mountainous heap
can outweigh one’s ability to live comfortably in the
present (always a hard ask anyway).
Why turn over and over these stones?
What good does it do to dig up old bones?
Because your childhood remains the one thing
That no one but you ever owns.
Among jigsaws with missing pieces
And outgrown clothes mismatched socks
You keep your childhood in a glory box
In which you are always discovering more
And never quite knowing what for.
Memory may be truth or a lie—whatever.
A lie may be all that is holding a life together.