Thursday, April 16, 2020


from  a geography of belonging

Time, pinker than the dots

on her blue shirt. A name

wasn't decided because

the lama was travelling

in a foreign country. We

were careless with our

affections. Tiny clouds

were stitched on the baby's

cap. Would she need

happiness or money?

Clouds are for the sky,

says the elder. Breasts

are for milk. Would

we have walked across

the mountains if we

listened to our feet?


First came pictures of animals

not found in our zoo.

Then apparatus assembled

for our benefit because

we had no money in the bank.

Even in the old country

grass was boiled for dinner.

We learn from our elders

so when they said we were

poor, we knew our job

as children. The eldest

gave up school so the youngest

could be polished for reward.

How does this translate in

your language? How can

it be that the rich are thin and

the poor are fat where you live

wrote a little boy from far away.

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
In the Absent Everyday
Apogee Press

Tsering was raised in India and Nepal