Years ago, I boarded the plane to this land,
wearing my culture and identity around my hand
which I was ready to adapt, to learn and imbibe,
to flow with the river, to follow the wind vibe.
To be a small fragment of the precious community,
I opened windows of my heart to blend in with amity.
I abided by the law, learned all the rules,
when time permitted, I volunteered in schools.
Packed a lunch of pretzels and salad with delight
so I don't bother colleagues with vapor of my spice.
That winter, I returned from my long flight back home
sleep ladling my eyes fatigue weighing down each bone.
My bags passed the X-ray with flying colors;
The dogs on duty did not sniff any suspicious odors.
They roughed up my bags again, pulled out a glass jar,
filled with tangy mango pickle from my land afar!
Shrugged and tossed it into the greedy can of trash
deep inside I heard a shattering crash.
Did not give me a chance, any rhyme or reason;
Killed what mom nurtured through the summer season!
It wasn't opium, wasn't a shiv, wasn't a bomb
It was just a tiny little piece of my mom.
She called me later to ask if I liked the pickle.
I tried to chuckle as my eyelids began to trickle
"It's perfect ma, the best you made"" but I have plenty,
Don't make it next year when trees bear the bounty."
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