ROOTS

By Anukriti Yadav

I. Belongingness is never granted,

      or even secure in its acquisition—

      life teaches you that.

      you don’t want to be a metro coach

      at the busy Rajiv Chowk station

      exploding with abundance

      you cannot process. 

      you also don’t want to be lost

      at the token counter, 

                        or right before a map.

II. This language cannot really describe, ironically

      what it feels like to be colored—

      brown, yellow, black.

      to say namaste, annyeonghaseyo, or habari 

      (and Allah forbid if you use salaam)

      to an uncomprehending, white-washed room

      to be judged for not knowing their language

      but not expect the same in return: 

              the bloody history of English.

III. Some day you will find yourself 

      in an unfamiliar place, maybe even slightly lost

      it will make you question how 

      the life you had known until now

      could be so different, and yet. 

      but moving to a place that makes you 

      question your identity is the first step—

      towards discovering, 

      or rediscovering

                              your roots.


Anukriti Yadav (she/her) is an undergraduate STEM student from Delhi NCR. She enjoys poetry, book-hoarding, all kinds of tea, Grant Snider comics, taking pictures of commonplace objects, and speed-walking while listening to hyphenated genres of rock and acoustic music. She ardently believes in mint chocolate and mental health rights and can be reached on both Instagram and Twitter. Her work is forthcoming in Ice Lolly Review and Pop The Cultural Pill.

 

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