Photography © Chad Parenteau


The Wait

There’s a feeling of uneasiness,
You wait; you hope it’s not that.
Fever sets in; cough comes along,
You wait; you hope it goes away.
Breathlessness begins; you test,
You wait; it comes positive.
Frantic search for beds everywhere,
You wait; a bed is finally booked.
Ward full of patients, no oxygen,
You wait; but then it’s too late.
You’re taken for your last rites,
You wait, even after your death.


Barkha Shah is a freelance writer based out of Bangalore, India. She writes poetry, fiction, essays and features.

Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine.