(18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

Immigrant

I can't imagine dying in this land.
The neighbours here have doors graffiti-red
‘Why are you brown? ' another pupil asked
‘I think because my folks are brown, ' I said

Out on our landing, someone's dumped a bed
I dream in Hindi. I don't understand
The baby words in English in my school book
At games, or dancing, no one takes my hand

I miss the smells of curry, frangipani,
The steaming chai at Delhi's teeming stalls
The cooking fires. I even miss the sewers
The thieving monkeys with their chattering calls

I miss the temple incense, the bright saris
In this new country, ma wears layers of coats
I miss the beggars, hawkers, the snake charmers
The rickshaws and the tattered rupee notes

You won't have seen a cripple on a skateboard
Or a blind boy, with both his eyes gouged out
That's what it feels to leave behind your country
A picture with the best bits scissored out

User Rating: 4,7 / 5 ( 14 votes ) 33

Comments (33)

You won't have seen a cripple on a skateboard Or a blind boy, with both his eyes gouged out really a great writing great 10++
Wow Sheena! You have captured the essence of diaspora.
Beautiful lines. Wonderful poem. An Indian in mind.
The thieving monkeys with their chattering calls...great line.
Through the eyes of an immigrant, you have profoundly expressed the isolation and loneliness of being in a new country. And the prejudice that exists. And your longing for your homeland. You have brilliantly illustrated through vivid imagery, your wonderful memories of a country so close to your heart. And your last stanza...sheer genius! You've been crippled! The memories are still there. But like the blind boy, your eyes no longer see all the best bits of your beloved homeland.
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