when one wrote letters in longhand,
comfortable knowing that it was neither
an intrusion nor a desperate call
for attention. Rather a genuine conversation
that arced from one letter to the next.
Friendships were strung
like Christmas lights on a chilly night.
The warmth didn’t wane.
No matter how long you stretched its time span.
Time was when one could sit in a room
with a friend with either music or silence.
Nothing diminished beneath the weight of words.
And two friends could be as snug
as a cat on your lap with the rain
hammering away on the window pane.
Then came days when the whole damn thing
began to be pierced with
shrill cries. Artifice and meaningless words
spat out in sibilant whispers. I couldn’t
take it after a while so I
began to post myself away
in cards with pictures of summer holidays,
fruit baskets, candles, even cartoons. And I
put in words that smelt of silence and aftershave.
I filled shoe boxes
with quiet emptiness. I broke my door bell
and locked up my front door. I took
the phone off the hook as well.
Try to forgive me.
Rumjhum Biswas has been published all over the world, and won prizes, commendations, and accolades, including being longlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize in 2006. She blogs at Writers & Writerisms and has a monthly column at 'Flash Fiction Chronicles' called 'Rumjhum's Ruminations'.
Ananya is a design student and dog lover. When she's not busy drawing odd faces, she loves munching on some grape-flavoured Tang while keeping her stationery intact. She has a weakness for fine-nibbed black pens and