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Where I'm From

My first birthday, 1980

I am from one dot in the sky,
from gravels and ripe starfruit
I am from the crowded housing complex
I am from the scent of jasmine, the guava tree

I am from reading stories and round face,
from Aditya and Lestari
From “hide your feeling” and “every women must endure this”
I am from Jakarta, East Java and farmers,
karedok and rujak cingur

From praying together and take care each other
From unemployment and saving my pocket money
I am from Jakarta suburb,
from Betawi neighborhood,
from embracing diversity that shape my country

July 20, 2014
Niken Lestari



Emily Garcia's picture


Dear Niken,

This is a beautiful poem! Reading your vivid descriptions transports me to your hometown. I see the jasmine and the guava tree. I imagine a close-knit and hard-working community. And I feel the heaviness of bearing all in silence. I especially love the last line of your poem "from embracing diversity that shape my country." This is a beautiful image of hope.

Thank you for sharing,

Emily Garcia
World Pulse Online Community Lead

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