Saturday Poem

Substitute Heart

A single human life migrates through many lifetimes,
according to the books she read to me.

The word migrant is cousin to nomad which is what her ancestors were.

When she turned refugee, she was told not to confuse herself with migrant.

There is no uniform legal definition of migrant. Blurring the terms generates
…… confusion, aid workers explained.

We are often asked who we are and where we come from. We tell the story we’ve
…… memorized by heart, we know when to insert facts and what emotions
…… are better left in our bodies.

Practice compassion, the teacher says when we ask him to make decisions for us.

Good thoughts generate good thoughts without asking for an exchange.

Just the thought of wanting to help others is worth thinking on, he says.

by Tsering Wangmo Duompa
Poetry (April 2022)