Where Am I?

This place so familiar
the banyan tree with its drooping branches~

I see a swing amid the cobwebs of my mind
and hear squeals of laughter and my voice,
‘make it go higher’!

This courtyard with slabs of grey stone
sheets broken with unruly grass along
their joints~~
my naked dancing feet convey words unspoken!

These men with their hungry eyes,
remind of a time when a little girl on the swing;
taken by force, her mouth covered–
away from her brother, cutting all ties!

Ugly men, chewing betel leaves,
gnarled hands and joints, smoking pipes,
my body keeping rhythm with ancient music
my eyes closed, my memories like movies
flashing in and out, crying for common identity.

And now I see a pair of old eyes–
behind old beaten blinds of a window, spread apart
with thin brown fingers: a fleeting wave of identity–
My breath in my chest, tight like a vise
lets out a sigh——–

Those old pair of eyes, they belong to my mother!!

ZSA © Oct. 2016.


About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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16 Responses to Where Am I?

  1. mrswrangler says:

    Love your poem. Hope you are having a nice fall.

  2. slmret says:

    There’s so much in this bittersweet poem, Zakiah! — the men with their hungry eyes, the ugly men chewing betel leaves, and that pair of old eyes — what strong experiences and memories! Hope you’re doing well — I’m catching up again after 2 days of my computer in the shop!

    • Zakiah says:

      hi Janet, thank you for asking. I am doing well. This poem I wrote many years ago. not sure if I posted it on xanga. It is a true story of a young girl who was kidnapped from her yard in the early 19th century and was taken to a palace where she lived as a courtesan. Many years later, she comes back as a dancer to her own village and sees the mother behind the blinds of a doorway.
      Glad the computer is acting right now. Hope you don’t have any more trouble with it.

      • slmret says:

        Wow — what a lovely story! Somehow I was thinking that it was about a young girl taken from her home in the mid 20th century! I’m glad to hear the real story! The computer wasn’t bad, but it was telling me that my antivirus was expired — when that happens, Staples re-ups the antivirus and scans it — then fixes it for free for a year if anything goes wrong — as it turned out, the AV doesn’t expire till March (something political at Staples, since Kaspersky is a Russian program, and the head of Kaspersky is friends with Putin!!!).

    • Zakiah says:

      OMG Janet, that is a loaded explanation of the computer virus… what with all that is happening as per this evening’s national news!! Better be away from such friends, eh?
      As for the story, I think it was in the nineteenth century from what I have read. But it could be in the early 20th century. You know how it is, when one decade goes by, all decades are of the same color and so the centuries that run by. I am such a history buff…. not!
      love and hugs.

    • Zakiah says:

      Janet I have Norton and Firefox. I have no problem with them. Every year ( I think it is every year, may be every two years?) I get a reminder with an email to renew it, which I do, and I never have to take it anywhere. Norton checks for viruses all the time, and whenever there is a possibility, I get an alert that Norton has successfully removed the virus that was lurking around.
      just saying. Have a great weekend.

      • slmret says:

        A couple of years ago I clicked on something I shouldn’t have, and unleashed a host of viruses, despite my antivirus software. Staples cleaned it out nicely, and in the price for that was a plan that guarantees the antivirus for a year with a subscription to the software they are using at the time. I only take it in if there seems to be a problem — the confusion over dates was reason to have them check it out. And it usually only means an overnight process. It’s almost like having free tech help, and gives me the added reassurance that somebody who knows something about hardware is looking at it once a year as well as the antivirus software. I did think the Kaspersky Russian connection was interesting, though!

  3. Love it-Such imagery. Great and sweet memories. Better old eyes than none, right? love nad hugs.

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you. I had seen an old movie where the young girl is kidnapped and serves her life out as a courtesan. She returns to her village after about ten or fifteen years, and dances to the crowd there, and finally knows where her mother lives.

  4. Men do not have the starring role in this poem that sounds like an Eastern .story of the past.
    Love ❤

  5. Zakiah says:

    It is an Eastern story of another century. Thank you Michel.

  6. This went from delightful to scary! 😦 I bet her mother looked for her always…and hoped to catch a glimpse of her onr day. When bad things happen to our children it ages us. 😦
    I love how your poems stir my senses and emotions. And your word-pics are vivid. 🙂 Interesting how a sensory memory can be evoked and we can suddenly smell, feel, see, hear, relive a memory from years ago.
    HUGS and hope you have a Happy Whee-kend, SweetZ!

  7. r_hsw says:

    sweet yet rather disturbing at the same time. i wasn’t sure about what i read at first. the second read gave it a more impact. quite strong.

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