Finding lost, old phantoms
Poem, story, and other foundlings...
This blogger was out for two weeks in October which put her behind, and also because so many new subscribers have arrived here (THANK YOU!), I’m taking this opportunity to reintroduce previously posted work - an poem + post followed by a short story it involved.
This poem, Lost & Found, is about a precious something I lost, that got the whole sequence of events rolling. In the next post I’ll share an intriguing story based on this loss and what transpired in my search for it.
Here’s the poem with the inciting incident…the short story that followed this event will come next!
lost & found
It was but a ring among many I possess
Another one bought in foreign climes
Clean rows of shiny stones I surrendered to
While you made me believe it should be mine!
Istanbul "harem ring" had me seduced
Your claim "perfect for my harem" only endeared it more
Acquired and worn with happy aplomb
I grew to love it more each wear
And then on this trip it went missing from me!
Frantic, and fretting spent precious minutes looking and lost
Replaying when I put it, where and why
Nothing! My barren finger - lonely, unadorned in protest!
And then after a day sunshine pierced through
A reverie on how it will return unannounced again
When I'm an old woman and tis' a long forgotten loss
It will be found nestling in folds of paper, an old pocket, some day
I will exclaim and laugh out loud to you
I'll say: remember how I fretted in Hanoi?
You'll nod your head and repeat it was meant to be mine
That which goes missing from view isn't lost-- like this love I can't deny.
I'll get on the phone and call our darling M
My discovery revealed, will she recall how she comforted me?
I'll tell her it's yours my sweet; a remembrance for how you played mom.
Ah! Such treasures we found - even when we lost - on our journeys!
reena | from Arrivals & Departures: Journeys in Poems
I wrote this poem nearly a decade ago on our travels to Vietnam. Remember when we left for foreign lands without too much fuss? I don’t either, but I do remember the buzz I felt in anticipation! Feels like it was another era altogether.
But today I want to contemplate a more personal yet not uncommon journey - joyful, curious and sometimes challenging - about raising the little girl in the poem who offers succor to her mother fretting a lost bauble. She grew up a whole lot (quoting Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises in describing how he slid into bankruptcy) ...gradually, then suddenly. I remember a time being so exhausted - with photos to prove both - that I wondered guiltily when that phase would end.
Raising a child is thankfully still commonplace (although even that’s coming under fire in our lost culture), yet every parent experiences it uniquely. So much of who we are and how we experienced childhood comes into play. Being a parent is humbling, often calling on attributes we scramble to acquire, while skills that make us successful elsewhere get in the way. I used to joke that bribery and threats became my preferred modes of engagement. I became/ remain terribly curious about the demanding, unpredictable and powerful little human I was attending to, and noted a few things. One that being a mom brought so much of my own childhood into focus. I noted how a dispassionate assessment of my own parents helped me sift through what I wanted to emulate and what I sought elsewhere. That also forced me to think about how we might show up in our kids’ future reporting!
Yes, YIKES! All that for another time.
Meanwhile, what happened to the ring? Read on here: