Four Poems by Mehak Goyal

The Trophy

Late evening, I reach home
after tennis practice carrying
my golden trophy close to my chest.

Radha opens the door.
“Mummy, Papa- back from work?”
I ask, dismayed, not finding their car outside.

“They are having dinner with friends.
You must be hungry.
I will serve yours.”

My trophy tucked like a
teddy bear in my bed, I force my eyes
to stay open, but sleep catches me.

Next morning
Radha serves breakfast while
my parents are getting ready for work.

My school bus honks.
I stare at the golden cup one last time,
its gleam not reaching my eyes.


What was said when he fell in love

She can’t even cook Okra
She drinks tequila
Look! This guy is hugging her on Facebook
Short skirts. Hot pants—
that’s all she’s wearing
She likes her job more than you

You’re innocent
I have seen the world

Your love won’t last
Promises won’t be kept

You have had your fun
I only care about you and your happiness
I will choose someone for you.


What was said when she fell in love

He drives a Honda
He has been at the same company since the last 5 years
You will just be shifting from one rented house to another
My astrologer assured me that you would rule a business empire

Leave him

I only care about you and your happiness.

Stop crying, I will find someone.


Swimming Pool

Conforming to his moods
and schedule, I am his
personal swimming pool.

He dives inside me.
My coolness envelops him.
“You’re a blessing on a hot summer day,”

he says, coming out for air.
He plunges again—
strokes quicker

until he has finished.
His body leaves me.
“Another lap?” I splash.

“Work is hectic.”
He walks out, takes a
quick shower, changes clothes.

“Tomorrow, then?” I bubble.
“I will call you.”
Typing on his phone, he departs.

My waters still and murky.


A Computer Science Engineer with a Masters in Management from Imperial College London, Mehak Goyal ran a couple of profitable start-ups, before committing herself to becoming a full-time writer. Shortlisted for the Sakhi Awards and the Cinnamon press literature awards, her writings have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, The Madras Courier, The Woman Who Roar, Muse, The Alipore Post and elsewhere. She is working on her first poetry collection.