Old and worn out,
I made my way
Into the hands of a stamp collector.
No longer do I knock on doors
In desperate need of warmth.
No longer do I deliver news
Solely meant to break hearts.
No longer do I caress
The folds of an envelope
Concealing words in its creases.
For years I waited
In a dusty corner
On a forgotten shelf
Brushed aside for faster means,
Till I caught her curious eyes,
Trying to collect vintage.
As if vintage signalled
The completion of history,
The demise of time itself.
She finds no use for me,
In a world of instant touch.
She dislodges me from my rusty corner
Smoothens my crimps
Only to forget me inside
A drawer of miscellaneous things
Reeking of nostalgic happiness.
I wait for fluttering heartbeats
In the midst of cluttered death.
When light illuminates my rumples again,
I see a young boy,
Gazing at me intently,
With furrowed eyebrows and puckered lips.
He reminds me of her
But he is younger, mellower, quieter,
With the same curiosity for vintage.
“Mumma”, he yells
Unmindful of the noise
He stirs inside my solitude.
“I have found another stamp,
This one is from 1930”, he shouts
Rummaging through emotions
That I witnessed only
When the secrets tumbled out of envelopes
Claiming despair, displaying ecstasy.
“I will paste it in my stamp collection”,
He says, and smiles to himself,
As if vintage was now only evidence
From an era no longer thought of.
I dreaded my permanent address
After living in temporary shacks
For most of my life.
Even when the wait was longer,
I knew that transience would finally take over,
And gently trudge me along
To a different time and space.
My fears were unfounded;
As he affixed me next to a stamp
12 years my junior,
I discovered a similar longing
For sentiments now stuck inside screens.
Memory collapses into space
Time oscillates between conundrums
Only the stamps could have resolved.
And so the stamp book shares many stories,
If only the child
Could read in between the lines,
That separated me from 1942.
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