A Silver Dawn


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Pic source: https://www.flickr.com

I remember
being put to bed
by my dad
after I fell asleep
on the veranda.
I remember
being carried in,
in his arms,
the faint smell
of his after-shave
tingling my nose.
I remember
being tucked in,
his fingers
pulling back
my errant hair strand,
lest it disturb my sleep.
I remember
the faint warmth
of that forehead kiss,
of the spicy chicken
we had for dinner
that night,
the night
I turned eight.

I remember all this.
but now suddenly,
I am not on my bed.
The room,
the decor,
the sheet-
all are different.
Gone are my Heidi sheets
my blue wall,
with the flowery curtain
and the tinkling wind-chimes.
The walls I stare at
are a sterile white,
without a scratch,
without a scrawl,
from my pencil colors.
The view from the window
has changed too-
it no longer overlooks
the courtyard
with the mango tree
and the swing
dad had set up
for my birthday.
I can only see
a concrete abyss
and an infinite sky
A cloudless,
blindingly white sky.
Its almost as if
I am not me
But someone else.
As if
I had been dreaming
of me.
Of my birthday.
As if I am now
in the infamous
parallel universe,
living the life
of my doppelganger.

I look at the date.
Its my birthday-
I turned 25 today.
Has so much time passed?
I dont remember
the ticking of the clock
as it struck midnight
again and again
for 17 long years.
How could I have
not known?
Where am I now,
I wonder.
Who am I now?
What have I become?
What does tomorrow
have in store for me?
Is it going to be
a Silver Dawn
Or am I
going to eat the dust
of a crumbling dusk?

I roll up on the bed
hugging myself
afraid to move
afraid to find out.
I stay there
like an actor
who walked onto
the wrong stage,
not knowing the lines
nor the scene.
I lie awake
for the night,
waiting for sleep
so i could
dream again.
So that
I could be
me again-
the me
of the frilly pink dress
and the tiara
blowing out candles
on my eighth birthday.

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