I am from tea, from clarified butter and frying pans.

I am from the stones that make up my kitchen floor, solid,

Strong and cool beneath my bare feet.


I am from the yellow marigolds and orange

And the jasmine that fills my nose and makes me dizzy.

I am from coffee-colored skin and eyes,

From cheapskates and hoarders and scheming aunties.


I am from medical schools and universities of law.

From fairy dust.


I am from the temple that houses our gods.

I’m from India, thick parathas and tall cold lassies

From the time my sister learned to blow a bubble

And the first time I saw my daddy cry.


I am from all the photos on the computer that sits on my desk,

all the memories kept safe in iPhoto, and

all the times the shutter clicked on the camera.


I am a seed from an apple growing to blossom

into a tree that spreads its branches to catch the sun.


by Rukmini, 7th grade



Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Julianna Reeves, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is “Sitar Hero” by Redshirt Theory. Produced by Susan Phillips.

This poem is featured as part of the 2014 Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.


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