Ridicule

by Nivedita Jayaram

Published in Issue No. 191 ~ April, 2013

I think I heard

It first in your voice

So many years ago,

Father, those breakfast

Table conversations,

Your face hidden behind

The newspaper, so early

In the morning,

When I told you

My unfinished dreams

It was Rhett Butler who

Taught me the art

Of ridicule, my teenage years

I spent mastering his tone,

Learning to pick

The things closest

To my heart,

Friendships, poems, love

And mock them

Until I could mock myself

These days I try to suppress

My poetry, squeeze the words

Back where they came from,

To lie in bed and watch

A Woody Allen flick,

Reduce everything

To the level of absurd

And pointless, to laugh out

Air, only because I feel

A fist punch

A lack of meaning

Into my abdomen

It is so much easier

To believe that

There is no greatness

In this world