Heart Of Darkness Poem by priyanka choudhury

Heart Of Darkness

I left behind my paint, my brush, my pen and my paper
‘Because they don’t take you far’, they said
Paints and books are good enough, if kept in the library, they said
So I kept mine aside, believe me it wasn’t easy
Leaving behind my air and water and trusting that the world would give me my oxygen
I stepped out heady with the feeling a one year old has when he takes his first step away from his too -small -now cradle.
The colours of the cradle now seemed too old to charm the child, the stories the nanny told were too oft- repeated to be held true by the eager kid’s ears
My books too were yellow with reading, my paints too commonplace to make me an artist
I picked up whatever little was left of me after I left them behind
‘I will come back, my darlings and take you too once I’ve seen the horizon looming so tantalizingly in sight’
I walked, danced and skipped, believe me I felt amazingly light
And ran to the shower that bathed me in quick breathless downpours
Time and again in between gasps I thought, is this world?
For if it is, then it’s easy and fun
But then before I knew I started choking
For had I not left behind my air, my books and my heart
How long could an empty soul survive?
Sucking from the rain it took in all the oxygen it could get find
I ran back to where I had left my books and brushes,
And held my dears close to my heart, I think they could almost hear it pumping
Read my books, like one reads the Bible, not for joy but as a fervent plea
Coloured myself the colour of green grass, but it looked gawdy on my skin shiny with the blasted shower
And sat huddled in a corner, not daring to go back to the shower
A child which had taken its first steps too early and not being able to retrace his footsteps to the old cradle
But I waited with a patience hitherto unknown
The immovable patience of a tiger on its nightly prowl
A patience which only the holding my breath in the stifling shower could have taught me
I still bide my time and read my books like they were my Bible
My soul will again be full
My time will surely come

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