Cleaning Day by Swatilekha Roy

Today is cleaning day.
After procrastinating far too long,
The layer of dust has become impossible
To ignore.
With a vacuum cleaner, allergy mask and determination,
I start with old magazines, stagnant with clichéd health tips,
Paparazzi, places-to-see-with-your-special-one, nanny ads and,
Blind hopes
Of print worthy life, newspapers glossy with falsehood,
Mites on the dank wood. In me.
On undoing the closet, a putrid smell of the dead arrests me–
Bats. History.
I rummage through years of acquired
Dirt and ghosts of a mirrored past,
Stuffed in a corner, away from the circle of pretense.
A picture of a sunny-eyed couple, with much too happiness to restrain
In the minuscule frame.
Christmas savings, baby shoes, gift wraps,
A necklace which isn’t mine
And night club masques, maybe,
We have been wearing those, but never realized.
All this time, we are struggling to keep what isn’t ours–
The hope, the marriage, the baby
That never comes. And reality. Secrets.
Not ours, none of it,
Only yours. Only mine.
This dust is testimony.


Swatilekha Roy
Swatilekha is eighteen and is still struggling to find her "way with words." Writing, for her, is crawling into the soul and extracting only the best of gems and the worst of dirt within. She takes writing and art at a personal level and is greatly devoted towards it. She also enjoys reading, painting, taking lone walks in nature, and rain. Her "to do before I die" list includes travelling around the world in less than eighty days and going down the up escalator. "Cleaning Day" is her very first poem. She lives in West Bengal, India. Her works have been recognized by Campfire, Writing For Peace, Wordweavers, and Sweek, among others.


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