Longing for the fruit of my ancestral garden

‘Go home. You’re not welcome here. Go home.’

Show me home,

this place which you shriek and shout of,

this place you shower in my face as you shove past me in the street.

Show me where my home is,

draw me home,

paint me home,

where I used to safely play sticks and stones,

and double-dutch.

Where I used to braid my younger sister’s hair,

soft and silky to touch.

Show me my motherland.

‘Go back to your own country.’

Words ring around my head,

screeching like worn car brakes,

as they come to an abrupt stop.

My own country is lost,

roughly moulded by the master’s hand,

branded by his globalisation,

like the burnt tyre marks permanently etched

on the tarmac.

It is foreign,

to me,

like I am,

to you.

Wounded by imperialism and invasion,

the opposite of gentrification.

You came and disrupted,

interrupted my land,

and colonised my home.

Battered from the bombs, bullets,

bruises and incisions;

violence springs back.

Weak and fearful on decrepit legs,

shaking, my country tries to stand.

She tries to rise.

We fled, tearful,

as our home begins blindly swinging

the gun,

artificial weapons displaced in our clutches

to fight back against those

who cut us out.

Foreign objects in her hands,

evoke an intense sea of exasperation and nerves,

as she sends away the heads

of all the mouths her fruitful,

ancestral gardens once fed.

My mother wakes me,

scared in the night, pleading with me to leave my bed.

Desperately dragging her children to safety,

security.

Stuffing clothes into a rucksack,

a few torn precious photographs and sentimental scraps,

begging us not to look back.

‘Don’t ever look back. Don’t cry. We can’t go back. It’s for the best. Please don’t cry. I’m doing this for you, for all of you.’

‘Go home! Go back to your own country!’

You curse at me,

as you bustle past,

wrapped up in first world problems,

self-absorbed in your western life,

as the stench of alcohol, politics and vote grabbing newspaper headlines,

on your breath,

is rife.

‘Home’

I shiver as the word is said,

as it brushes my ear and haunts the memories in my head.

‘Home’

I wish I could return;

if only it still existed,

if only you left us alone.

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