Anuradha Rao

Post Boxes

are from yesterdays of happy
summer fantasies scribbled

on unsent letters enveloped in illusions
of unending childhood;

imaginary pen-pals in spotted
nightgowns running as elves

across the creases of cheap greeting cards
that loudly proclaim ‘seasons greetings!’

like noisy street corners they were printed in,
celebrating confused shops and missing apostrophes

who cared about punctuation anyway? punctuation
was for strict teachers and grim parents

with infinite time in the world
to notice untied shoelaces, unleash red-

inked swords on innocent notebooks
with torn pages that flew into happy

paper planes, twisted boats, shapeless
sledges sliding up and down serrations

of carefully removed stamps
stuffed into a used envelope.

Stamps, stamps, so many stamps.

Someday, they would adorn a beautiful
museum with glass cases.

in albums so exquisitely organized,
that everyone would tumble over

each other just to catch a
glimpse, Someday.

dreams yellow too soon forgotten
as flaking corners

of handwritten letters
preserved in the inaccessible

shelf nobody opens.
playful scrawls morph

into important emails, unchanging
routines, growing bank accounts,

Success, success, lots of success.

too suddenly to say goodbye to red post boxes
that remained where they were, Unsuccessful.

Anuradha Rao’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Journeys, Inspired by Tagore, Cake Magazine, Peace and Women Artists’ Datebook. She is a recipient of the Wingword Poetry Prize, awarded to 33 talented poets in India. She recently graduated with a degree in arts and a diploma in business management. Anuradha is a feminist who enjoys contemporary fiction and hot chocolate. She currently lives in Chennai, India.

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