(I thought it lost

like a gate left open

or a one-winged parenthesis,

the hooked talon

my father brought back from India

in 1932, and later gave to me

when I was eight.

I blamed my brother

for not taking better care of it,

for leaving the gate open,

yet five decades later

when it re-emerged

among my mother’s things

I recognised it instantly

like an old dream burst into life.

Nestled in a drawer

among tarnished coins and rings,

a substantial collection of dust,

I was amazed how memories

lie dormant in vivid sleep.

How long it took grief to fade

from the miscellany of emotions.

How long it took to bury

with the other dead.

Close brackets.)

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