NaPoWriMo, Poetry

The Act of Disappearing



I was six
When Dad took me to see the circus
And I stood transfixed
Before the magician,
As the rabbit, the bouquet
And a young lady,
Vanished with a swish of his wrist.
I’d clap my hands
And jump in joy.
One time, he even handed me
the bouquet after the Act,
And I placed it on my windowsil.


It started with
Dad, every morning
Amma, every Sundays
Ammamma, occasionally.
The Act of Disappearing
It was painful at first
But they had their reasons;
Work, temple, groceries, relatives.
They’d come back eventually
And so I got used to those disappearances

A sock from the pair
The thickness of my hair
My childhood bestie,
4 besties after that
My lunchbox and Umbrella,
The resulting cane marks on my legs,
All my pencils
The pages in my notebook,
All magically vanished.
But they could all be replaced,
Couldn’t they?
Amma always brought out
a new pair of socks.

The sensibility of a teenager
When I was around him.
The color on my face
When his hands grazed mine.
The petals on my roses
He loves me,
He loves me not.
The letters in FLAMES.
Our names scratched on school desks
And the arrow-struck heart in between.
All drained, faded, withered

My bank balance
The puppy I was gifted when I was 6,
My heart-
Returned tampered.
The weightless milk carton
In my refrigerator.
That boyfriend who ghosted me.
The tear stains on my pillow
His letters,
Doors that once warmly welcomed me.
The bottle of whiskey emptied
as though someone took a swig
out of my soulflask.
Buried, vanished, burned, shut
All in a magical disappearing Act.

In the end here I am,
The world changing around,
Me hurtling as though
caught up in a tornado,
Another one brewing within me.
My life has been a series
Of magic shows,
Where people and things,
Walked into my life, charmed me
And left me dumb founded
With the disappearing Act

The bouquet on my windowsil
Never disappeared again.
An assurance that things that vanished,
Would come back eventually.
But it took life to make me understand
That magic wasn’t when the bouquet disappeared
It was when it reappeared.

~ Ranjini Sankar

23.04.2021