This poem is a response to the NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 21.
Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is an old favorite – the erasure! This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact.
I have taken the first page of the book “Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zaffon:
I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery
of Forgotten Books for the first time. It was the early
summer of 1945, and we walked through the streets of a
Barcelona trapped beneath ashen skies as dawn poured over
Rambla de Santa Monica in a wreath of liquid copper.
‘Daniel, you mustn’t tell anyone what you’re about to see
today,’ my father warned. ‘Not even your friend Tomas. No
‘Not even Mummy?’
My father sighed, hiding behind the sad smile that
followed him like a shadow all through his life.
‘Of course you can tell her,’ he answered, heavyhearted.
‘We keep no secrets from her. You can tell her everything.’
Shortly after the Civil War, an outbreak of cholera had
taken my mother away. We buried her in Montjuic on my fourth
birthday. The only thing I can recall is that it rained all
day and all night, and that when I asked my father whether
heaven was crying, he couldn’t bring himself to reply. Six
years later my mother’s absence remained in the air around
us, a deafening silence that I had not yet learned to stifle
with words. My father and I lived in a modest apartment on
Calle Santa Ana, a stone’s throw from the church square. The
apartment was directly above the bookshop, a legacy from my
grandfather, that specialized in rare collectors’ editions
and secondhand books – an enchanted bazaar, which my father
hoped would one day be mine.