Treasure Island

Salil Singh

(19th April 1991 / Agra)

Rats


I was thrown into this world
a little sponge.

I absorbed first my mother
and then my father
before I went to school
and sucked in all the
lessons, children,
parents, teachers,
guards, bus drivers
and random strangers
who came my way.

I was a big sponge now
(but still a sponge) and I
leaked at times, and I hated
what oozed out of me
so I regurgitated what I could
and set about despising the rest,
disappointed.

I began to fool myself into thinking
that I was not a sponge
but a rat.

So I began to look for holes
to hide in and to stuff all I stole
and my little rat friends came by
and we ate our cheese together.
This went on for quite a while.

I ran around from hole to hole
looking over my ratty shoulders
for the cat I thought would eat me
but never came.

I ran from my parents,
older rats, younger rats,
lies, truth, honesty,
dishonesty, good, evil,
from the greedy fat ruling rats
and the stubborn reds,
from the police.

Everyone was a rat to my eyes
because I was one,
naturally.

Things happened, my perspective
started changing. I began to see
things in other rats
that I didn't before.
I saw those things in myself.
Sometimes I even forgot we
were thieving rodents.

Then I met a great doe
who thought she was
a rat too, but i knew she wasn't
and then I knew I wasn't.

She was a sponge just like me.
And though she leaked
sometimes, I took that
and began to accept it in myself.

I hope I can remember now
that I am just a sponge.
And if I forget,
remind me.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
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