(Be)longing

By Tenzin Chokki

all I want to do is fly
high up in the sky
farther than my own spirit’s limit
even when that means
I die having broken wings
because in the end,
I know that I have lived.
all those years of yearning
of heavy lifting and dried tears
all those years of perseverance
of paramount belief in that one sunny day
all those years of hope
of drinking tea with khabsey
and keeping alive the spirit of home
with the rich, savory stories
because in the end,
I know that I have lived.

alas,
someday time shall pass upon you
and no one can deny on this simple truth
you may not be able to return to the homeland
in this life
a home that undoubtedly bore an evergreen love and compassion
for mi, semchen and khoryug alike.
however,
maybe through my eyes
your unconditional immortal spirit can rewitness
the land towered by bright-lit mountains
where tufts of little yellow dandelions blanket away the green valleys
and your regular evening strolls around the market village
surround you with the sounds of the nearby falls.

or
maybe through the eyes of those still inside Tibet,
you would have already made koras at the Barkhor a few many times to be counted for.
or
maybe through the hindi spoken by those of us who grew up in another land,
you would have already understood the strength and resilience of our communities.
or
maybe through the never-ending khatags and familiar songs of welcome
seen and heard wherever you go around the world,
you would have known that Tibet and its spirit exists not just beyond the mountains but
have traversed various continents and oceans to be found everywhere mankind prevails.

and this is what it means to live,
because I, for sure, still believe in this spirit and
dream that one day, sooner or later, I or my children will get the chance to see, hear, smell, breathe and touch home.

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