Once Poem by Anita Sehgal


Rating: 4.8

Once my house was full of people
Both young and old …
of diverse opinions and myriad temperaments.
Voices and sounds echoed all around,
Doors banged and shut, activity all around…
Where is my corner of quiet, I wondered?

Once my house was full of guests,
Glasses clinked, tables over laden..
Laughter rang out …
Merry stories exchanged and news dissected,
Each sticking vociferously to his point of view, egos clashed.
Why cannot we listen more and talk less, I wondered?

Once my house was full of children
Each child in a world of his own….
Growing up years and its challenges..
Seeking to balance, the righteousness of the elders and the sensitivity of the children..
How does one bridge the gap.. without treading on toes.. I wondered?

Once the walls reverberated with the joys of the coming festivals
Every occasion and season, a reason for celebration.

Amidst all this.. hustle…
Life's ups and downs..
offered its own variety..

All this was then … and now..
Not a sound echoes.
The bell hardly rings,
No callers to disturb my reverie.
Children moved out..
Now an empty nest.
Relatives have no time,
Friends all gone,
The kitchen fires hardly burn.
The echoless, cold walls and
the now musty furniture, so carefully gathered once, give company.
Festivals come and go.
Summer heat is unbearable
Winter chill eats into my bones
Monsoon is wet and slushy
Spring no longer blooms.
Life now spent on my rocking chair, whose creaking and squeaking
is a lullaby…
The walking stick, the only support of my tottering bones…
Occasionally, I get up to clear the dust of old photographs on the walls,
of smiling family and friends-events and occasions.
I stare at them and reminisce of the past and pull it into my present.
All gone but the memories glow like embers in the dark winter evenings.
I am waiting … waiting for what I do not want to acknowledge.


Theodora Onken 12 October 2012

This is so poignantly sad and yet, such a vivid picture of later life and the almost unbearable empty that oft times follows... Memories played over and over again help to fill in the horrendous emptiness of a house that once was the heart of ones life... Love your style.

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Dr Library @ Debadarshi 12 October 2012

So well written that one will be carried to ages far ahead, truely great piece to warn us all the dangerous ramifications, the society face when drawn out of its roots, parents.... Great insight...

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Neela Nath Das 12 October 2012

My childhood days crept back. The memories of then and the present situation meet everyday at the door of my heart. Past wins over present. Really very nice.

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Ellie- Daphne 13 October 2012

I can not relate to the situation you describe - but I can see and feel what you write about. I am deeply moved by this so well written poem.

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Pranab K Chakraborty 13 October 2012

All gone but the memories glow like embers in the dark winter evenings.... a painful painting. Imagery dictates the past well.

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What a nostalgic poem. Thank You, PoemHunter, for hosting Anita Sehgal here.

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Akhtar Jawad 28 August 2014

A painful but impressive memory of the past. A nice poem.

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Wahab Abdul 21 November 2012

very painful........... i liked it

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Anil Kumar Panda 19 November 2012

the sad reality we have to go through in the name of development and prosperity.very nice.

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C. P. Sharma 13 November 2012

I am reminded of Keats: Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,

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