Brown Wicker Chairs by Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca

At the Big-box store
I shopped for wicker chairs 
To lounge in, in my summer garden,
Red, brown and grey chairs 
Sat stacked neatly in the aisle.
Choosing two brown ones,
Happy to have something,
The colour of my native land-
My choice was quick.

At least now
When people asked “Where are you from?”
I could claim ownership of my origins,
With my affinity to the brown chairs,
I would have an answer 
For the boy in my Spanish class
Who asked “Are you really a Brownie?’’
As he looked me up and down.

Brown is made by mixing red and yellow
Perhaps they forgot to add in the red
When they made me
Watering the yellow with white
Leaving me somewhere 
A citizen of a different country
To which I half belong.

KAVITA EZEKIEL MENDONCA has been a teacher of English, French and Spanish for over four decades in colleges in India, and private schools overseas. She is a widely published poet, with poems featured in various journals and anthologies, including the Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English, The Journal of Indian Poetry in English by Sahitya Akademi, SETU magazine, Harbinger Asylum and Verse-Virtual. Her debut collection ‘Family Sunday and other Poems’ was published in 1989. Her chapbook Light of the Sabbath was recently published in September 2021. Kavita is the daughter of the late poet Nissim Ezekiel.

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