The house on Northumberland Road – Neera Handa

I‘ve come for the last time,

just like old times, looking for something,

like I used to

things only you could supply

like the scraps of my childhood and my youth,

answers to my age old questions

that maybe only you can answer!

In the calmness of the evening,

just before the bulldozers arrive in the morning

the house, standing stoically silent, opens itself to me as I slip in

The sun has gone down, dissolving in inky hues

in the shadows of memories that lick the walls

and the game that we had played so well, continues

“Are you hiding still?” I ask in a voice shrill

with excitement and fear

“Yess, come and find me dear!”

Looking around, behind the doors,

looking through the door- less cupboards in the hall.

in the grey lights, holding on to the wall

I cry, “Where are you??” “Right behind you!!”

Came the voice so close, that I jump with fright,

Spilling out on the terrace, stretching my hands in the dark

touching with my fingertips the velvety night ,

Sleep walking as if with eyes shut tight,

tears escaping I whisper,

“Have you gone???”

And a silence, a sigh, a whiff of that fragrance so well remembered

brushing against my skin, leading me into the void …!!!

And suddenly the little hand slipped in my hand tugs me back to the light

and the laughter “Are you scared grandma?”