“Undying Memories” by Prisha Rao

Prisha Rao (age 14)


Some people say that when you die
you learn everything, you learn every little secret
and piece of knowledge in the world
I am hoping that my uncle learnt that his brothers still loved him
Even after fighting about money endlessly,
they never forgot to forgive him,
so I hope he knows

I found out and
I couldn’t feel anything
I still cried knowing that I didn’t want this to happen
Longing to feel something,
I started to think that the feeling of nothing
was the same as the feeling of death

His soul was just gone from the face of the Earth
This fact hit me
And the fact was that I wasn’t ever going to
get to laugh talk and cry with him ever again
And most of all I felt pity and grief for my family and myself
This feeling felt better than nothing

My friends helped me up
And embraced me
They didn’t even ask me while I sobbed
They just held me
as I muttered, “I didn’t pray hard enough”
My thoughts continued cluttering around

It’s probably going to be like this when I die or my sister dies
One of us has to deal with the other’s death
Slip into the same thoughts that I did before
We slipped into it seven more times that year
I can still hear my mom saying
it’s not an “eight sons and one daughter” family anymore
It’s “one of us is dead”

from 2020 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Prisha Rao: “Poetry is a piece of literary form of art that is usually up to interpretation. I feel as though some of my thoughts are ambiguous pieces of dough that can be open to interpretation as well. When I put these thoughts onto paper, they come easier out in the form of poetry. There are basically no limitations, so my writing can truly convey what I am trying to say.”

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