This poem is taken from Stand 221, 17(1) March - May 2019.

Shanta Acharya Four Poems

When I lost something valuable,
I gave it a name, inscribed it on a pebble,

piece of wood, paper, cloth or shell,
placed it in my handbag, let the words settle

in with the rest of my losses,
defining me – keys to my anxiety,

notebook and pen to record panic attacks –
phone, lipstick, comb, cards calling for attention,

tissues folded in cellophanes of adjustment –
carrying on with my chores as if nothing

was the matter, clutching my grief
like a mascot, trying to transcend

that feeling of things missing, life passing,
shrinking, until change rushes in,

weighing me down with more losses,
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