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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


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