Varsha Saraiya-Shah

Varsha Saraiya-Shah, a poet and finance professional, lives and works in Houston, Texas. Her chapbook of poetry, Voice,s was recently released by Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in various print and online journals including Asian Cha, Borderlands, BorderSenses, Convergence, Mutabilis Press anthologies, Texas Observer, Univ. of Texas Press photography and poetry book, among others.

She has studied poetry through workshops and conferences in Houston, New York, California, Oregon, and Mexico, among others. She was a poet-in-residence at Noepe Literary Center, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. in October 2015. She serves on the Advisory Board of WiVLA (Women in the Visual and Literary Arts).



A long fat potato, sweet and meant
to be eaten, stays idle
for weeks in my fruit bowl.
It grows pigtails and ivory beard
over threads of mustache.
My friend says it needs change.
I pluck all idle limbs fattened 
on its sweetness, put them in a glass 
with water on window-sill to befriend the sun.
Weeks pass, they continue sprouting 
new leaves winding their way around 
the mini-blind; my new friends
sing and keep company as I do dishes
drinking the sun-splashed water.
We know what change does, how change rubs on
those who think they're alone or scraping by
or can't make sense of what seems ugly—
it grows new seeds of sweetness,
an assurance.