Don't Ask Me
Don’t ask me my name, ask me where I’m from, where I’m really from, where I was born, why I was born there and where I live now and why.
Don’t tell me your name, or why you’re here near the security checkpoint, in the middle of the mountain ranges, selling second-hand shoes from a kiosk with a broken roof.
Tell me instead about the time you stood in the middle of a field watching the night sky during a thunderstorm.
Let me listen to the lilt in your voice as you explain how the Kikar flower only blooms during spring, and invite me to smell its fragrance.
Point to the sky and describe its deep, deep blue colour in the middle of summer.
Describe how the earth smells under a walnut tree after a night of rainfall.
Show me the tree and let me listen to the myna birds coming to sing during the hour between dusk and nightfall.
Take me to the pink rose in full bloom and dare me to say I’ve smelt another as sweet.
Lead me to a rushing river, and let me wash my hands in its cool waters.
Wait while I lie on the rock and let me feel the current of the tide.
Let me catch your half-smile when you offer me a cup of tea.
Don’t tell me your name. Just sit here and let us sip our drink together.
Don’t tell me who you are. Be silent so we can hear the children laughing on their way home from school.
Allow me a glimpse into your soul as you stand facing the mountain, not looking at me looking at you, and recite a line from your favourite poet.
Let me know you as I might know myself.