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Two Words, a Poem by Sheila Lam

By Sheila Lam, she/her

It has taken decades of learning and understanding to dismantle the feeling of otherness within an identity that uncoupled homeland and hometown. For many, this journey is familiar. These words are a pilgrimage.

mẹ and always recount

that enchanted place

a jade motherland interwoven 

with threads of ruby and gold

the roots far off

obscured from “home”

but of where I received my gifts

 

the look in my eye

that I mistook for so long 

as the look of my eye

it was you

sunlight from the fatherland

clouded by red soil

steadily finding its way back to the sky

 

long strides from my childhood souvenirs

I see it today in depth

a space between no longer foreign to me

beaming, radiant, and ablaze

piecing itself back, a star

 

Written by Sheila Lam for Youth To The People