By Achingliu Kamei
In a former life… I was a bird soaring above the clouds, My wings fresh and strong, My feathers rippling in the breeze. I was an orchid bringing glory to the tree, A sea heart*-polished ebony, A weaver, a potter, a tiller, a storyteller. I was a grey cloud, a gust of wind, A medicine maker, a healer. I was a memory, an ember, a hearth, The beginning, the story. I was a bud, a flower, A dormant volcano, a river current, the waves. I was the smoke, the spark, the flame, The bamboo that would not break. When I was born, my bed was of soft petals, My food the flower’s nectar, Soft, fragile, flimsy, sweet, Bloomed for a season. Like the fireflies, Soon gone, A speck of dirt blown away. A butterfly that flitted briefly, I gave wings and roots to the next unborn.
*The sea heart is a round brown smooth seed and has cultural significance for some of the Naga tribes who live in India. It is used as a core on which the weaving yarn is wound by the dexterous hands of womenfolk.The sea heart also lends itself as an equipment for the only traditional game the womenfolk were allowed to play in the past.
Achingliu Kamei is a short story writer, poet, and an ultra-runner. Her work has appeared in international journals and anthologies. She is currently residing in Delhi, India, with her husband, two daughters, and Haru, the cat.
PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL