Untitled Poem 1

“Should we take more toilet paper?”

-No, we won’t need it, dear.

“What about another sweater or jacket?”

-I’m sure it won’t be so cold- don’t pack it.

“In case of a mugging, should I bring a knife?”

-You’re being silly; nothing will threaten your life.

“And this document, or that form there?”

-Not necessary; airport officials won’t care.


At the check-in counter she leafed through our folder of papers,

Once, twice,

A third time more slowly.

Before entering the loo she first peered in from a distance.

At our gate her eyes never strayed from the scenes on the TV:

A tropical storm,

A ponzi scheme,

A mugshot.

While we walked the new streets,

Shivers climbed to her vocal chords

And reached me as the clamor of the notes in her words—

“Hey look, the sky is so blue!”


I laughed.

And wish I could have sewn that extra sweater.


-Shaakya Vembar


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