An Ode to my Childhood—Day Twenty of NaPoWriMo 2022

Trigger Warning: Mention of self-harm. 

I come home,
Fall to my bed.
Eyes close as
The pillow hits my head.

It’s been a long day,
Testing me with all its might.
Tonight is different,
For it is not a sleepless night.

I start dreaming,
And I open my eyes and see,
The world around me has changed,
And I feel light and free.

I recognise the change.
I know this place.
This is my childhood room.
Is it my imagination? My dream?
Or am I in a daze?

I see my bunk bed
and the toys on the ground.
I walk over them and step outside.
I’m scared of what I’ve found.

I find a grave six deep,
Its length about 4 foot 3.
There’s a tombstone with my name on it.
Wait, is it meant for me?

“It is,
But for a different time.
It’s for me,
The childhood you left behind.”

A voice speaks,
and I turn to see,
An eight-year-old me,
Staring right back at me.

He takes me down,
Into the grave.
We sit cross-legged,
As he tells me about the dark path that I had paved.

The boy in me
Has been slowly dying.
If you say you can’t relate,
Then please stop lying.

I wake up,
Drowning in realisation.
Of how I’ve almost killed myself,
With all these unnecessary clarifications.

It’s up to me,
To either kill or save myself.
Because the worst self-harm in this world,
Is a lack of love, empathy and selflessness.

It is time to realise
That there’s more to life.
It’s time to realise
That we need to save ourselves
And live a better life.

So I walk out
Under the vast sky above.
I decide to walk until I relearn,
This beautiful thing called love.


Written by Aditya Kapur for MTTN

Edited by Anika Shukla for MTTN

Featured Image by Unsplash

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