She lay gasping
ignoring it as the usual gasps.
It is just nothing
It will be fine, she said
So did her family members
We are more worried about dad
He does have health issues
He needs to be careful.
They forgot about her health issues
About things that might cause her
to suffer as she went on
All her health issues lay forgotten
Till it was too late
Too late for anyone
to do anything for her
She was beyond all help
Too sudden, too soon
Before anyone could realise.
Do I see some colours?
No one around as I walk down
Empty streets that stretch wide
Tar glistens in places and the gravel peeps
Here and there.
Weeping bottlebrushes looking down
Some grass that struggles.
A little farther a bottle
Pulled along with some dead leaves
Bright yellow blooms peep across the wall
And look up
At the sky that turns grey blue
Eucalyptus trees planted in a pattern
Caged by cement
As the roots twist, turn, and spread.
Nishi Pulugurtha is an academic and creative writer based in Kolkata. Her work has been published in various journals and magazines. Her publications include a monograph on Derozio (2010), a collection of essays on travel, Out in the Open (2019), an edited volume of essays on travel, Across and Beyond (2020) and a volume of poems, The Real and the Unreal and Other Poems (2020). Her recent book is a collection of short stories, The Window Sill (2021) and a second volume of poems is forthcoming.