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Lost in Translation: A Poem by Damneet Kaur

By Damneet Kaur on January 5, 2021
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my voice. is beautiful, as my father says.
is always ready to fight, as my mother says.
is never a burden, my ancestors taught me better than to call it such.
is loud like when
my cousin says why are you screaming, i am standing right here.
is silent like when i say
i pick my battles wisely in translation for i am still searching for all my courage.
is raw like when gore ask why do your people always sound like they are yelling.
is rough like when they assume i am talking shit.
is Punjabi like there are some things only my language
is worthy of hearing.

don’t ask me to translate what i said if my voice made it clear it wasn’t meant for your ears.

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Damneet Kaur is a writer, spoken word artist, and educator from Kumeyaay Land (San Diego, CA). She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Health Education as well as Race and Resistance Studies from San Francisco State University.

Moving to the United States from Panjab at a young age and growing up in San Diego, CA, Damneet connects her childhood experiences to her writing. For her, poetry is one of the truest and most ancient forms in which people can tell their stories, validate their experiences and find solidarity amongst each other. Intersecting her experiences as a Sikh and Panjabi womxn into the Latinx community she was raised in; she hopes to create bridges that will empower folks around her.

Lead image by: Lara Kaur 

 

 

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