Minal Hajratwala

The Shallows


What surprises me

is the varied depths of pain

Sometimes you float

Sometimes you sink
and think

you’ll drown

Like my friend who went fly-
fishing, waders hip-high,
cast the line, then fell

thrashing downstream
rubber pants full,
still holding the rod

till he shouted to someone
calm on the bank,
What do I do?

Said the angler, not lifting
voice or eyebrows,

Stand up.


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