It Knows

There it is.
Looking saintly and innocent,
Minding its own business.
I know it is all pretense,
A storm brews within,
Threatening to break through any moment,
I wait and watch.

It knows I’m watching
Somehow, it knows.
Maintaining its calm
With nary a murmur,
Also waiting and watching,
For me to lose patience.
Who will be the first to break?

Determined not to lose this time,
I strain with every cell, every nerve,
Tune out every other sound, sight.
Focus. Focus. Focus.
What’s that?
A whispered hiss? A slight ripple?
Adrenaline courses through me,
I reach out for swift, decisive action
But no, nothing.
It’s a false alarm.

Wearily, I retreat once more.
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
My tired eyes move around,
My thoughts begin to wander.
Why am I the Chosen One?
Why must I always stand guard?
Where is everyone else?

Restlessly, I drift aside,
To pick up or put back something forgotten.
Somehow, it knows.
Sensing that my eyes are no longer watchful,
It gathers its forces.
And right there in front of my eyes
Before I can move a muscle,
Or utter a sound,
That stupid, wretched panful of milk
Froths, rises, and overflows.


Published by Leena T Pandey

I have been reading voraciously since the age of five when I first discovered the joys of reading. I would lap up anything in print. Unrolling an emptied newspaper cone with one hand, stuffing roasted peanuts in my mouth with the other, all the while devouring the printed content on the cone with my eyes, was one of my first experiences in hedonistic pleasure. In fact, sometimes I feel that I am on an adventurous journey through the secret dreamworld of other people's imaginations, interspersed with occasional visits to my own life to attend events like graduation, first job, marriage, and so on. As a true-blue reader, I think I am uniquely qualified to comment on and critique other people's works of labour. I can tell exactly what puts the average reader to sleep, what sets their pulse racing, and what has them salivating for more. Write to me at

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