I don’t write poetry often, but when I do, the topic of homesickness comes up a lot. So, of course I had to write a poem about home.
Many immigrants have a complicated relationship with their home country. For some, it’ll be that land they long for, the keeper of their best memories, of sounds of smells they’ll never get to experience again. For others, home is a house full of thorns — familiar, but painful.
This poem is my attempt at reconciling those memories in the aftermath of my leaving my country.
A poem about home
I remember the clear blue skies
the chilly rainy days
the cool October winds signalling the end of the school year
the cicadas crying for rain
the butterflies bringing spring on their wings
the ancient green giant watching over us
his warmth barely contained under rocky dark blankets.
I remember the sleepy towns
our hideout in the foggy mountains where I said ‘I love you’ for the first time
and the wild waves we used to ride on the weekends
our skin angry and red and salty and peppered with dark sand.
I dream of many faces
all of them smiling as they pass by
golden brown, kissed by the sun
infinitely patient at my silences, my anger, my disappearing acts.
I hear their laughter as we walk together on dirty sidewalks
passing by tall walls lined with broken glass
pretending to ignore the vague black threats tagged on doors
and the suffocating hand of uncertainty behind the smog
wondering what safety even feels like
wondering which one of us will be next
performing death in the newspapers
under white sheets
because what else is there to feel
other than fear and disgust?
I am haunted by her sunny smile clouded by the plastic bag around her head
by the bullet that stole his eye
by the ghouls that drove her away from home
by the corpse I stumbled upon on my way to the gym
by the crowds cheering wildly at the emperor’s cries for blood
by the deafening hatred making us turn against one another
devouring each other on our way out.