Ruchira Mandal

Scent

I unlocked my parents’ room last week
And the scent of trapped sun and linen
Embraced me like an old friend,
Speaking in whispers of days
That seemed like dreams-
Weekday afternoons,
Starched collars smudged with sweat,
Mother picking me up from school,
Crackers dipped in father’s tea.
(It’s never been the same since I started brewing my own).
There was the bed, curtains, bookshelves,
Stains on the walls, painted over,
Unread magazines piled on a red chair.
I’ve heard of magic trunks that contain entire worlds,
Of wardrobes that hold doorways to eternal spring.
How do you pack a scent and take it
Through customs, wormholes or time-machines?
I asked the Movers, but they were busy with the boxes.


Ruchira Mandal writes poetry, songs, fiction when she finds time from grading papers. She lives in Kolkata, India, loves traveling and dimsums, and has been known to talk to herself on occasion.

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