Letters Home

Guest blogged by Preeti Kaur

The following is an excerpt from Preeti Kaur’s poem “Letters Home,” in honor of those lost and injured in Oak Creek, WI. Read the full poem here, and sign the petition to push the FBI to track hate crimes against Sikhs.

i travel the 5th udaasi
i see no stranger in this country
when i was born my mother carried me
to richmond hill new york gurdwara to discover the first
letter of my name
as grown woman i perch above
pacific watch from el sobrante, california gurdwara
as fog rolls under golden
gates spine at sunset
i recite rehraas toward an angel island

100 year udaasi and i have traveled the whole country
hyphen is a language i lost

when the door to the Guru arrived
as asteroid from amritsar to stockton
Mian Mir put down the first brick
in the americas too
walt whitman spoke to 10 Nanaks
left his four directioned
pairs of shoes outside stocktons darbar
shoes for us to borrow

in oak creek Bhai Taru Singh Jis scalp
lives again an eternal hair
which grows from 1907 bellingham
tied into the topknot of wisconsin

our kanga combs this hair with media soundbites
hair which absorbs perfume of flags
a mane we sometimes fear to wash

lakhi shah vanjara, mehar karo
give us your brave flame today
make our roof known as only nirbhao nirvair

hot winds blow away
with 5th Nanaks naam we alight
this fire beneath us the first shaheed
a heat which ignites miri piri
for when they come for us
again


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14 Responses to “Letters Home”

  1. Singh Divaana says:

    beautiful!

  2. Izhaarbir Singh says:

    incredible poem

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