Prelude and Other Poems

    By Samreen Chhabra

    1 – Prelude

    Houses with mirrors at their doorstep
    are a wonder in the realm
    of interior design, they are
    a prelude to the home that awaits
    you, once you cross the obstacle
    that is yourself.

    They are a silent interrogation,
    a question left in your way,
    to proceed or to stay.

    To step into the kitchen
    where small-town-small-talk toasts
    upon a stove,
    or to enter the maze
    of a crowded living room.
    Mantelpieces desperate to force conversation,
    where there could have been the gaze,
    of one’s own
    kind disquiet.

    2 – One Day Women | Once a Day Women

    I have discharged myself
    of my duties.

    I no longer intend to tend to what’s required of me.

    I do as I please which is to say
    that the afternoons
    I find myself in,
    are laden with lounging
    on a patch of grass
    peeling mangoes backward
    with my canines,
    and fondly finding
    my face in muddy puddles,
    glistening, unclean,
    to be splashed on, by the world

    3 – Reparation Hour

    In the fridge lies your bowl of beaten coffee,
    the scrambled eggs slide off the pan
    and into your plate.

    You are foraging the table for the wrong knife
    to butter your bread,
    a portion of lettuce sits
    like a statement waiting
    to be understood,
    on the tray to your left.

    You and I are busy verbalising thoughts,
    the regular morning espresso
    brews in a corner
    to cushion the sting of headlines
    and crisp rants extracted from Excel spreadsheets.

    There are words falling into our plates,
    yet the loudest sound in the room
    is of the gaps between them.

    Samreen Chhabra (she/her/they) is a research fellow of Psychology, writer and theatre artist from Chandigarh, and is currently based at Delhi, India. Her work has appeared in The Wire, The Poetry Business UK, and the anthology ‘A Map Called Home’ among others. @samreen.chhabra on Instagram

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