For as long as I remember my hands were clay bowls
I had in them cowrie shells, a few plastic beads
the cool imprint of my father's hand,
the light caress of my mother's kiss
fragments of unwritten stories.
For as long as I remember I was not 'most' women
I was the solitary robin on the hill, a wild Jasmine in the wind
the sun held secrets for me, the moon lit up my destiny
I wore my sleeve on my heart, I let litanies of spring be.
For as long as I remember my words had meaning
I said what I meant and I meant what I said
I laughed when I pleased, I cried at almost everything
I did not understand the guile of covering.
For as long as I remember my eyes searched for more than me
I saw cracks in faces, I saw faces in cracks
my heart looked through barbed wires of epiphany
the world disappeared in the shadows of money.
For as long as I remember, my friends were Rumi and Hafiz
they looked for me, I looked for them
on snow peaked hills, in dingy streets
For as long as I remember, I thought God lived in my neighbourhood
there were no crusades or bombed cities
For as long as I remember, I remember not remembering me.
© Jaspreet Mann