soft shoulder by Para Modha

a soft shoulder is
the unpaved part of road
maybe there is sand, or dirt,
or just bits and pieces of gravel 
it’s a DANGER sign saying
don’t drive here

and when you say you’re not okay
I wish I was the steady road but
I only have my soft shoulder
to offer you
I could tell you that “it’s okay
to not be okay”
that “I’m not okay either;
I don’t know if I ever will be”
but I don’t

stay on the road
drive straight 
don’t lean on my soft shoulder
or you’ll disappear into dust 
I love you too much
to let you fall into me


Para Modha is a seventeen-year-old Indian poet and high school student who enjoys music, reading, volunteering, working with children, and defying societal expectations about gender. Para writes poetry as a form of self-expression about their life and experiences.