The ‘title’ poem of Prartho Sereno’s newly released book, ‘Indian Rope Trick’.
It’s the mystery’s favorite trick: weaving
the intricate rope of someone’s life, then
lifting it for them to climb and somewhere
near the top… disappear.
Two weeks ago my brother told me
he’d shot nine holes. Pain was lousy, he said,
but went on to try out punchlines he’d been
practicing for his meeting with the Maker.
I’m not afraid to die, he said
with that curious wonder he had
since the diagnosis. But this time
he added he had no regrets.
None worth counting, anyway.
I’d taken my phone on my walk and was talking
to him from the mountain, at the level of ravens
and hawks. He’d had a wonderful life, he said,
which caused the rope of it to rise and grow taut
so we could see it in all its color: There in his yellow
cowboy pajamas with his champion Alaskan yoyo.
There in the glow of his cherry-bomb days.
There at the helm of the stolen tractor on a joyride
over the golf club greens. And look: Now he’s doing
figure eights on his forklift in the basement of Kodak.
Now he’s blasting off, bottle-rocket-style, to
international VP. See him there in Paris and Philly?
See him adrift on South Carolina’s inlet seas?
Here come the whole buzzing swarm
of friends drawn in by the honey of his ease.
Ah… we seem to have followed that rope
right up through the clouds.
I couldn’t have asked for more, he said.
And his exhale filled the valley
so the hawks lifted up on the rising air.
And we said goodbye.
From the poetry collection ‘Indian Rope Trick’, Blue Light Press, 2018
Read the review by Madhuri: Indian Rope Trick
Prartho – prarthosereno.com
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