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Sreelekha Chatterjee

Sreelekha Chatterjee’s poems have been published in Raw Lit, The Mini Magazine of Assam, Verse-Virtual, The Wise Owl, Enchanted Garden Haiku Journal, and in the anthologies The Harvest & the Reaping, and Winter Glimmerings (Orenaug Mountain Publishing, USA), and Christmas-Winter Anthology Volume 4 (Black Bough Poetry, Wales, UK). She lives in New Delhi, India.


X / Twitter: @sreelekha001

Instagram: @sreelekha2023

A Shampoo with a Promise

My wild, frizzy, curly mane defies gravity,

nebulous, cloud-like in shape above my head,

I wish for elegant, naturally-straight hair that is all but a fantasy.

My hair is a tangible illustration of sorcery,

develops various length, shape and size, regardless of my desire,

all I find when I see in the mirror is circles of black porphyry.

Shampoos—with window-dressing, fruitless assurances—foes to steer clear of

for further drying my already-dry hair and scalp—

I feel this impulse in their presence, an urgent need to give the bottles a shove.

At last I discover a shampoo that holds promise for my unruly tresses,

as I open the bottle in isolation,

a sweet fragrance fills the air with a comfort it expresses.

Crazy curls naturally moistureless, brittle and prone to damage,

fingers rip through knots, tangles like moving through a lush, untended garden;

rebellious, quarrelsome hair needs perseverance and lots of time to manage.

Detangled, hair up in a loosely-twisted bun,

the coils of my hair slowly slacken,

controlling the hairy fountains levitating on top of my head is no fun.

I apply the shampoo on the scalp, strands of hair, focusing on the edges,

take a deep breath and prep for a long shower,

like an inner battle that asks for patience and endurance as one pledges.

Soap water cascades down the hair,

lathered in dark waves,

suddenly attuned to my inner whimsicality, impatience that they share.

Shampoo on the scalp, tames my frizz, giving smooth hair of my dreams,

like flowers mellowing out in bloom, evoking a sunlit garden,

a heartfelt gratitude rises and happiness beams.

Herbal cleansers infused with conditioner of organic coconut oil—

ultimate power combo for my curls and their shine;

I forget those days spent with conflicting emotions in moil.

The shampoo prevents tangles, giving me smooth, manageable tresses,

touches the texture of my strands;

I live in peace and harmony with my hair that caresses.

Rehydrating and rejuvenating shampoo formula

contains Aloe Vera and protein from soy, corn and wheat—less breakage,

more growth, ridding split ends, liberating knots, toning down the hairy nebula.

Bouncy lustre, jubilant hair result at the end of my tireless revolutions,

delicious smell, a shampoo that contains my hair strength and texture,

boost with oil for smooth curls and self-care remain the effective solutions.

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