By Cherime Sangma
I’m from rain soaked hills and bon-fires in winters.
I am from bamboo shoot and rice beer,
From jackfruits, and Simsang fish,
To chilies in every dish.
I am from hallelujahs and amen,
And choosing guns to rob my brothers.
I am from “be a doctor or an engineer,”
And finding jobs to drink myself to death.
I’m from privacy being a luxury,
And my sister’s secrets being my own.
I am from being realistic, and silent tears at midnight.
I am from my mother’s traditions,
To dreaming dreams in English towns,
And defying my father’s rules.
I am from clear blue skies, and children screaming,
And always sleeping with my doors locked.
I am from “do you sleep on trees?”
And roosters competing with alarms.
I’m from fishing after the rain,
And greeting relatives with pots on fire.
I am from “God knows where!”
Carrying someone’s story as my own.
I am from malaria and diarrhea,
And healing barrenness with tree barks.
I am from omens and charms,
From love refrained but loud wails at funerals.
From wicker baskets with oranges,
And memories tied to my door.
From silent goodbyes to sons and brothers,
To incredible stories of our ancestors.
I am from stories untold,
Quietly, but certainly fading with the trees.