Aysha Syed, Closet Poet and Operations Lead for Islamic Relief Canada, is the daughter of Afghan refugees who fled Afghanistan to Canada during the Soviet War.

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the nostalgia of refugees
stifled, forgotten, censored
occasionally resurfaces after dinner
we swallow our disdain for outdated ideas and traditions
as they recall a distant memory
of home and childhood
of war and leaving
of bankruptcy and cabbie moments
our parents
belittled for spelling mistakes and elementary education
sit before us
confessing life’s betrayals
over green tea and pastries
making light of all that this country has done to them
and once they realize how vulnerable they’ve become
they turn to us
cursing in jest and in panic
the motherland
the youth
all things stolen

 Linh Nguyen ©

Linh Nguyen ©