NaPoWriMo Day 21 – I remember

Today’s prompt is one I got from the poet Betsy Sholl. This prompt asks you to write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.

I couldn’t open the link provided but based on the explanation provided, here’s my poem:

‘I remember

I remember,    

   the day we became friends
   It was only natural I suppose
   Being thirteen was tough,
   High school was rough
   and we were the new girls
   on the block
   I don't know what we spoke of
   how much we shared
   But we got close

   the first time I came home,the day 
   we had tahdig* and koobideh**-
   I had thought the crisp parts of the rice burnt-
   until you explained it was how it was meant
   to be. I imagined you making tehdeeg  today
   with your mother, the sound of your laughter
   in the kitchen, the sweet smell of rose and saffron
   I was reading 'The stationary shop in Tehran'
   And I thought of you, three decades ago.

   the old me- caged in a glass cabin, behind a desk, 
   Board rooms, projects, reports, audits
   Men and women dressed in suits
   Discussions- deadlines,solemn faces 
   Business reviews, system upgrades 
   Credit cards, targets, compliance
   Alien words - a language I no longer 
   understand. Its only bee four years
   since I was freed

   my first time at an art exhibition 
   I went with this girl, Katya - a Russian-American
   We were artists in the making
   There was this painting- one big, black circle 
   on a white canvas - it covered the entire wall
   Who buys this? For a whopping eighty grand
   We can do better, we laughed
   They placed a signboard over it, 'Sold' 
   We were not done clicking our photographs.

 If every memory be spun into poetry
 tell me, how many more will I weave until the end? All Rights Reserved.
*tahdig- scorched rice
**koobideh - kebab made of lamb 

10 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 21 – I remember”

  1. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    There’s a sweet and almost sad nostalgia about some of the poem Smitha, though I’m glad you’re now free of the confines of your old job.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Andrea, these memories made me smile and yes, it brought back this friend who I had forgotten. I tried looking for her on fb after this poem but I couldn’t remember her second name. I am glad too about the freedom from the job though at times I do miss dressing up in suits 🙂 and the recognition. Writing is such a lonely job.
      I was happy to find your comments on so many of my posts. Thank you🧡


  2. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    Hi Smitha, it is lovely that you are now free to channel your energy elsewhere than a corporate job. A lovely poem about these memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hi Robbie. It’s strange and a blessing that I don’t miss it or else I would have been miserable. The poem did bring back some warm memories of people I knew and lost touch with. I suppose that’s life. It’s funny how therapeutic some of these prompts are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

        Yes, writing is very therapeutic

        Liked by 1 person

  3. harmonykentonline Avatar

    This is lovely, Smitha 💕🙂


  4. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your memories. I’m glad that you forgot that language and was freed and are making your own art now. ❤ Isn’t it funny how much this prompt managed to bring out?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Absolutely, Manja. These were things that I had forgotten about. The prompt surfaced it all and I remember it with a fondness, not regret. Thank you for reading so attentively, Manja. XXX

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

        You’re most welcome. And I really like what Robert Frost said. 🙂 The best poems are like that.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          Yes, I loved the quote too…its so true. You never really know where a poem takes you.

          Liked by 2 people

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