As humans, we didn’t grow up,
we grew out of the ocean,
floated to the top
to join the brine and enjoy the sunshine.
unraveled into lungs,
we learnt the
secret of breath
and held the taste of air
on the backs of our tongues.
We danced across the shores,
with sand between our toes.
And that was our legacy.
Now, I’m here. Where they were.
I feel the sand but breathing on land
has become so difficult to do without
The wet fabric of my black and white swimsuit,
is stuck against my chest
– my legacy is now black and white,
it is held between this fabric,
purely because I am a woman.
I do not dance.
As humans, after we came on land,
we anchored ourselves,
deep into it,
into the soil.
You would have found us,
with the insects,
messy and mud-covered.
Our newly formed lungs filled with
the smell of soil
and freshly cut grass,
the dandelion seeds caught
in the washing line of wind where
hang our worries out to dry.
Now, I’m here, in the soil,
in the dirt
and I am dirty.
I have slid down their hills
and my back is covered
in their mud.
I do not want it to be this way,
my new dress, this piece of fabric, has been ruined by this
– that is where my legacy stands, because I am a woman.
But, as I am brushing it off me, I remember that
this soil is theirs, and the soil has shifted
time and time again.
has felt it move, felt it crack open and
split in two, when the dividing line between
friends and families,
Muslims and Hindus
felt more like a rope at her throat
than a pen on a map.
She ran, as the ground
beneath her became turbulent
with nothing more than
the clothes on her back — her only legacy,
as a woman.
Maybe, as the granddaughter
of such a strong woman,
it’s high time I look to the
sea and the soil for my legacy;
send my worries away into the wind,
feel the sand beneath my toes,
fill my lungs, with the scent of open soil,
bury my unnecessary fabrics in it,
and dance across their graves.