A Visit to the Spare Room

that day a while ago,

that day eons ago,

I went up there to the spare room,

it wasn’t bare

but just unlived,

left alone in its solitude

with grungy furniture-

an aged bed with dusty mattress that squeaked,

a couch of horrid colors,

small fridge empty but for a pungent smell;


I open up the wooden gate

of the wall almirah,

a portal through time,

swept away from that moment

to days past-

there I found the books that

were read by my mother

in her college days,

I picked up one of them-


opened the first leaf and

began to contemplate over,

those old brown pages;

typical for me,

a little complicated for me-

the language I am bonded with for life

but not being so in contact with,

I read through the first page

and then the second-

tells of a story of a widow,

miserable, lonely,

with no sense of direction but

the only thing in mind, to be of service

to her late husband’s memories,

a drama, first act-

she lost in sweeping the floor

but mind thinking of so many things,

when she is asked for her hand

to be yellowed again and her brow line

be smeared with sacred red powder,

a marriage proposal from her brother-in-law;

a little too sappy for me,

I closed it and replaced it at its abode-

that stack of other books, its comrades,

now that the war is over,

bereft of any duty but that of

making us realize of their presence

from time to time;


I sat on the old worn out bed sheet

and thought of visiting old acquaintances-

I opened up the furtive bed-chamber

to find all those childish play things,

same as always, fragrant of ignorance,

I dare not touch them, they would come alive,

I fear them, looked at them with dewy eyes;


too much for one day, I thought

and retreated back

to the modern coercion,

plugging back to what life is

like on the ground floor,

leaving behind that room

which floats in thin air,

ever ready to fall down.


* It was a bad time for me, when I tried to shy away from the world by visiting that room and it was after quite a while that I did so. It was different. Now, I am sort of an irregular visitor there. In the last month, I once went there to read and another time to write. The room beckons me; it is magical for me. It is symbolic for me. I am submitting the link for dVerse Poetics.

18 thoughts on “A Visit to the Spare Room

  1. i think it’s nice to unplug from the present and dive a bit into history…always a discovery trip…i sometimes wish i had such a time portal or time machine…


  2. I can remember doing something similar….visiting various things of my parents that were stored in my childhood attic. Old photos, old yearbooks, old letters, etc. I didn’t have an eerie feeling though…enjoyed my connections with the past.


  3. wow what a journey in your words….of course the spare room immediately made me think of narnia and cs lewis….but the books as the portal as well…your mothers books that dont draw attention to themselves now that the war is over….loved that bit…they have always been fortals to me…love the admission of fear of the toys as well..what an interesting tension you create between history and modernity


  4. Love that time travelling, back to your mother’s book & childish play things ~ Very poignant that these things are preserved in the spare room ~ That last verse magically pulled me through ~ Very well done ~


  5. Laurie Kolp says:

    Ahh, I love this poem. It reminds me of a room in my (now deceased) grandparent’s house that I considered eerie… but in a good way… if that makes any sense. I guess magical is the right word for it. Thanks so much for this!


  6. Good job. You literally took me there to the spare room. The one like my grandmother’s house had where my Uncle Joe used to sleep as a child and my Great Aunt Belle recuperate from her hip surgery. It was the room with the unfinished walls, the foot pedaled sewing machine, and the wardrobes stocked with forgotten toys and vegetables canned in mason jars. Thanks.


  7. The time afforded to memories tangible in nature. What a great opportunity of discoveries! Good to give time to reflect. Nothing hearsay but the real thing in front of one’s eyes! Great thoughts HA!



  8. Your trepidation in going into the room and discomfort in being there is well written into your piece. I don’t understand the meaning of the room, but I feel the anxiety and sadness.


  9. You do sometimes feel like you are trespassing into someone’s dream or territory, don’t you? I can understand that yearning yet sense of caution and embarrassment, maybe a little fear too, certainly discomfort. Yet also excitement, what treasures might be discovered, what new insights.


  10. They say that whenever you pick up an old book, one that’s been read and re-read many times before, you’re not just reading the story from your own eyes, but reading it through the eyes that read it before you. The book remembers how they were read before.

    This was a beautiful piece… great to read this!


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