nocuous living

Poem by Gurnoor Powar

Art by Keeley Sieban

A little girl

Flying on her toes

Digging them into the soft wet dirt

As she spins

An anchor

So that she doesn’t fall

The anklets adorning her feet

Singing as they rub against her skin

Chafing the delicate bone

She allows the sun to shine

Through her yellow suit

Stitched with green detailing

That pierces her skin

Her chunni becomes a beacon

Propelling itself around and around

Her debased form 

She spins faster than the speed of light

Her feet curling deep into the dirt 

Rocks break through her skin

Dirt embeds itself into her nails

The wind screams in her ear

The anklets continue to sing

A song she cannot understand

That her mother used to clap to

Singing in a foreign language

A long time ago

These words encompassed the girl

Intimately touched her

Came to her as a long-lost lover would

Yet they are still unintelligible 

Looking for a home in her


Dancing in the Western dirt

In an un-ancestral home 

In a place that never feels like home

Where she’s been born

Foreign words speak of longing 

Foreign words accuse her 

Until the music stops


As she stands still

She feels her blood

Feeding into the land

From her feet

Planted and torn