Hiraeth

The stirrings were intense

leaving my stomach in a churn

my cheeks damp and my heart all overflowing

When I land there, I am taken aback

I tell my smote heart to not lose it

to my consternation my clothes are all wrong

I had tried to dress the traditional way

but the way I carry them makes me stand out

the syllables that proudly roll off my tongue

though similar to theirs

have an alien accent even to my own ears!

the sights, the sounds which I had imagined

had pulled my strings all these years

now leave me strangely uncomfortable and rueful

my crinkling of nose and exasperated sighs

though smothered, are frowned upon

the whispering behind my back is hard to miss

I smile awkwardly

gulping the too sweet milky tea hastily

scalding my tongue and heart

I long to go back

but that home is also not home

all these years that I have spent

have stayed as an outsider,

standing on the periphery never belonging

tethered to the memories of my supposed roots

and now I stand exposed

floating in a limbo

not sure where home is.

Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday: Hiraeth

60 thoughts on “Hiraeth

  1. Punam, an exquisite poem, poignant and relatable. My sister is looking for a retirement home. She and I were discussing yesterday this longing to find a place to live that feels like home. She emailed me the Bovevil Song from YouTube. The Bovevil in the song devours all the cotton crops before moving on and is always, “just lookin’ for a home, just lookin’ for a home…”

    For a lot of my life, I have been “just lookin’ for a home.” The closest thing I have found to a home is not a place, but the people dearest to me. Revisiting our roots is not easy and may be unsettling, but I believe it is a valuable exercise. Your lovely poems reflect that you know who you are, and that is the important thing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheryl, thank you so much for sharing this with me. I guess most of us keep looking for a place to belong all our life. I so agree with you that “home is not a place but the people dearest to me”. What a profound thought!❤️
      Thanks so much once again. Hope you are well and so is Robert. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. poignant capture of our distorted feelings longing for our place of origin and finally arriving to know that we have changed but nothing there has … I am so grateful I’ve found my ‘forever’ home! Even during our current strict lockdown I’ve reconnected with a lady who had done a course with me so know I have another friendly face 🙂

    And look at your avid readers now, great poets themselves so that says you “have arrived” sis, congrats!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I am indeed blessed but our entire state is now under strict lockdown as delta rips thru Sydney as it’s spread by feral men fleeing for their lives …

        ta, I missed my vocation as a talent spotter 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Aww… just loved it. And reading this alerted me to the prompt. I had to add something. Fingers crossed, I hope I’m not too late. You guys rock! TYSVM
    I just adored yours xoxo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your poems are so deeply touching, true feelings of the heart that one can relate to, such beautiful composition and choice of words! Made me realize the long phases of life where I didn’t really know what/which was my home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is wonderful Punam. I felt every word inside. The sense of longing so well said. Love it so much. Thanks for sending the link otherwise I would have missed out 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Superbe and stirring write Punam,☺️🥲 I can relate. After 22 years living abroad, spending holidays “home” feels very strange, both familiar and foreign at the same time😳.
    A fabulous write! Thank you for this!🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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