I am from needle and thread,
From extra pieces of cloth and the running stitch.
I’m from sliding down the stairs like a penguin,
“Thumping” the whole way down!
I’m from flour-covered clothes, sneaking cookie dough,
and the aroma of cinnamon.
I’m from hearing, “I love you,” “Clean up your mess,” and “Don’t touch that!”
I am from cleaning the mud from under my nails,
From running around with wings,
hoping one day I would be able to fly!
I am from suitcases, the constant whirring of engines,
and soaring above the clouds for so long that time vanishes.
I’m from the city of red brick houses with brown shingles and eggshell fences.
The city of Afrikaans and Zulu,
where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean hold hands.
I am from the country of spices, zooming around in auto rickshaws,
and punjabi-style dresses, that glisten in the light!
I’m from the Taj Mahal, Moses Mabhida Stadium, and Table Mountain.
I’m from zigzagging across the ice,
From falling onto my knees and learning how to get back up.
I am from hiding behind the couch and doors, giggling when I was found!
I’m from running outside to taste the first snowflakes of the year,
Jumping into snow piles and getting hit by snowballs.
I am from بسمله هير رحمن نير رحيم (In the name of God, the most merciful, the most kind),
and from memorizing verses from the book of Allah.
I’m from eating cake and celebrating my sister’s birthday on All Hallow’s Eve.
No costumes, ringing bells, and comparing who has the most candy.
I am from hugs and kisses, being tucked into bed, and hearing the words, “Sweet dreams.”
I am from the miles separating my family,
counting down the days till I return!