Her mind too escaped to the green fields.
When the sun tingled her delicate skin,
And her Ma’s clay-burned hands
Were the only things that could heal.
She remembered the cold winds of Spring–
Sharp and essential.
Like her Ma’s stern face,
Or her Baba’s hands of metal.
She dreamed of magic carpets and glossy mangoes,
No more slippery stairs or crowded windows.
But as she bundled her whole life in bandages,
And felt the wet dirt
Beneath her feet,
Maybe the soiled boxes weren’t the
Only damaged packages.
The carpets were dusty and the mangoes were bruised.
Ma’s clay-burned hands were hollow,
Her stern face now confused.
Baba’s faith could not be deterred,
Nor his hands of metal, still being abused.
There is still a torch behind her home,
Glowing every night.
So as she welcomes a foreign tongue
And brand new light,
There is never a doubt where she belongs–
Between the rain, wind, and open life.
Nafisa Rahman is a young writer from Long Island, New York. As a Bengali immigrant, Nafisa draws inspiration from her rich cultural background, infusing her writing with unique perspectives and experiences. Currently, as a rising high school senior, Nafisa is set to graduate in 2024. Her dedication to academics and creative writing has allowed her to maintain a high honor roll position and place 1st in her school’s writing contest, Ethnic Pen. Beyond her literary pursuits, Nafisa is an active member of her community, engaging in social justice services and programs, like the Youth Justice Leadership Program with Women’s Diversity Network and the High School Advocacy Program with Planned Parenthood. She values the power of words and believes in the transformative impact that storytelling can have on individuals and communities.