30FOR30 Poetry Challenge: April 26

Week Four: Social/Political
April 26th: Write a poem navigating through the relationship between “home” and “homeland.” 

logoToday’s prompt is to write a poem navigating through the relationship between “home” and “homeland.” Where we call home does not always coincide with what we consider our homeland. In fact, most people will claim it to be different, right. Journey through this relationship.  Discover your home. Is your home your homeland? What is the difference? 

Here’s a poem from Tarfia Faizullah:

En Route to Bangladesh, Another Crisis of Faith

—at Dubai International Airport and ending with a line by César Vallejo


Because I must walk
            through the eye-shaped
shadows cast by these
            curved gold leaves thick
atop each constructed
            palm tree, past displays
of silk scarves, lit
            silhouettes of blue-bottled
            I grip, as though for the first
time, a paper bag
            of french fries from McDonald’s,
and lick, from each fingertip,
            the fat and salt as I stand alone
to the side of this moving
            walkway gliding me past dark-
eyed men who do not look
            away when I stare squarely
back—because standing
            in line to the restroom I want
only to pluck from her
            black sweater this one shimmering
blond hair clinging fast—
            because I must rest the Coke, cold
in my hand, beside this
            toilet seat warmed by her thighs,
her thighs, and hers.
            Here, at the narrow mouth
of this long, humid
            corridor leading to the plane,
I take my place among
            this damp, dark horde of men
and women who look like me—
            because I look like them—
because I am ashamed
            of their bodies that reek so
unabashedly of body—
            because I can—because I am
an American, a star
            of blood on the surface of muscle.

Feel free to post your piece in the comments!


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