UMA MENON | Morning Glory
In the morning, I wake with sunlight
pursing the windowpane, ray by ray.
Outside, you water the garden,
melting coffee grounds into the soil &
pain into blossoms. I lean against the rails
to smell the wispy air, fingers twisted
around flowers. You ask me to try fruit
from the fallen tree, still unripe. We cut
them in a plate & swallow the sourness
plaguing our jaws. Time hasn’t come
to say goodbye. The morning glory creeps
into day, yearning for the sun. As it fades,
my mother becomes more & more jealous
of the soil, rich in earth. She wants to carry
the flower across the seas. Knowing
its forbiddance, she stares at its mouth &
repeats the things she cannot have: this
land, this life, this flower. In the afternoon,
you make coffee & remind her of the land
that has labored to fill her mug. The land
that has sent her away & the land
to which she belongs. She remembers.
Uma Menon is an 18-year-old author and Princeton University student from Winter Park, Florida. Her debut book, Hands for Language, was released by Mawenzi House in 2020 and her debut children's books are forthcoming from Candlewick Press. She was the inaugural 2019-2020 Youth Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival and a 2020-2021 Encore Public Voices Fellow. Read more at www.theumamenon.com.