2 min read

A few women grace that place every alternate week;

Some patterns reclaim their space 

in the heart of a swarm of spotless, starched coats; 

three pairs of feet sit motionless 

and while their time away in anxiety; 

three pairs of agitated eyes prance in a perfected pattern 

between a slim wrist watch, a handbag, a few children, a form, 

a blank wall, and a chalky, white, unyielding doorway; 

their blank, dull gazes finish a few hundred clumsy pirouettes 

before their names arrive to reign their racing thoughts 

“Oh, why is it taking so long? Who’ll serve the lunch kept on the stove?” 

“....but who would fill my spot today to greet a swinging saloon door?” 

“What if they come to know?” 


One of their gazes meets that familiar chime 

of the next one’s name rolling off a nasal tone 


She nudges its owner’s shoulder and nods 

to signal the start of a jostle in the chair 

The lady gathers her suckling, wide-eyed infant 

and some tell-tale bulges left behind by childbirth 

before walking in through the quietened doorway

She returns with reddened eyes, a white prescription, 

and opaque rivulets cascading down her face 

A hurried breath rehearses a few lines 

before a wallet full of ‘allowances’ 

reveals its caving walls 

and tells her 

why she can’t come back till the calendar turns its leaves again. 


The second name rolls off a weary tongue 

to wake up a pair of wrinkled eyes 

She fell asleep kneading her aching joints 

and woke up to long-awaited relief.

She hobbles in astride a clanging walking stick through the waiting doorway 

and when she hobbles out yet again, 

her tender fingers rummage through 

a little box of pills 

and tally some indistinct names 

before reaching for a pouch with fast-dwindling contents 

and an explanation 

for how she can't come for a few months 


The last name meets a drenched blouse collar half-way 

and holds hostage a hurriedly typed work email. 

A pair of shiny black heels clickity-clack once again 

into the ever-present, worn down doorway 

When they fill the corridor with their presence again, 

a nearly-empty purse, 

a digital calendar, 

and furrowed eyebrows 

mock their polished sheen; 

they demand 

(in the same voice as ever) 

“Will you be able to pay a visit again?”

Hemangi Chakravarty has worked as a Senior Technical Writer at an ed-tech firm and is the author of the ebook Uninterrupted. It is a collection of her poems that Airplane Poetry Movement featured as a reading recommendation. She is also a spoken word poet and storyteller who has performed quite frequently on platforms such as Kommune since 2019. Not very long ago, Hemangi was a semifinalist for Kommune’s National Story Slam 2020. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her reading, cooking, exploring her passion for dance, and trying to understand the world around her a little more closely.

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