Connecting With the Past and Reclaiming my Identity Using Poetry

My poem is about my struggle in understanding and embracing my South Asian identity.

Poetry has allowed me to reclaim my ancestry and embrace my identity. In “Motherland,” I re-imagined my paternal grandmother, with whom I, unfortunately, face a large cultural divide, as my country of origin. Formatted as a letter, I grapple with the concept of letting go of both a parent and a home.

[Read Related: Indian, American and Proud-Embracing my Dual Identity at 16]


call me Mother
if You remember the Warmth of my grasp.
how meals used to taste, all Spice and steam
Gathered in a Home tooSmall for your tastes
but We made it brighter
Your smile brought the Universe in Our reaches

You grew
fueled by love and Spice OutofmyArms.
the moment You stepped into MyWorld
I knew you would leave me
for the monstrous azul of Sky&Sea&Far Away

but I still call you           Daughter
for I am where you go when the streets grow teeth
But I have also
Taught You to be Strong
the Spice in your Blood
can turn into Flames

Oh Darling!has Sky&Sea&Far Away called you kin?
do You call her Mother?
do You still remember the taste of Home?
how the sticky Sweet syrup would cover Your Fingers
interlocked with Mine
my Hands wait for Yours
and the Table is set

For when you Return

[Read Related: Brown Girl of the Month Pooja Jesrani Takes the South Asian Identity to Infinity and Beyond (Literally!)]

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By Norah Rami

Norah Rami is a teenage poet based in Houston Texas. She is a member of Houston's Youth Slam Poetry Team, … Read more ›