NaPoWriMo 2023- Day 26: Self-portrait of a foreign country on the other side of the border

Our (optional) prompt for day asks you to write a portrait poem that focuses on or plays with the meaning of the subject’s name. This could be a self-portrait, a portrait of a family member or close friend, or even a portrait of a famous or historical person. If you need help delving into the meaning of your poem subjects name, this website may help or this

Self-portrait  of a foreign country on the other side of the border

A glass separator divides the Arrivals and the Departures
I walk in wishing I was on the other side of the glass.

A few  chairs are occupied
by those on the way out before the holidays end-

Women with floral hijabs loosely covering their heads
and men with sunset-colored beards on the fringes of their chins.

On the wall outside the departure area
is a poster divided into three parts.

One has the picture of the royal bengal tiger
In lush green mangrove forests. 

The second is of tea plantations 
on mist kissed hills.

And the third is of local dancers
dressed in orange, reds and greens.

A reminder that there is beauty in this country
waiting to be explored. 

In not more than 50 steps, is the immigration
Men and women in navy blue, sit behind the counters

They look like me
But speak in a tongue alien to me.

Our passports stamped, we step out
to busy roads, signboards in a language I cannot read

Buses with dented bodies and telephone wires
hanging in clumps like a sadhu's* jaṭā**

*sadhu- sage or ascetic
**jaṭā - dreadlocks All Rights Reserved.

2 responses to “NaPoWriMo 2023- Day 26: Self-portrait of a foreign country on the other side of the border”

  1. rajkkhoja Avatar

    Nice describe the thought in poem. Who one arrival in the foreign country if they don’t speak the language. Beautiful you sharing portrait of a foreign country.


  2. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    Hi Smitha, you have done an excellent job describing the tumultuous thoughts and feelings one has when arriving in a foreign country, especially if you don’t speak the language.


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