Grandmother said
trees are my ancestors.

If trees are my ancestors
then all the elements on Earth
are proof of my history.

I went hunting once
and took a nap
on the swollen root overgrown
where I had a dream.

Fog, as the dust of seeds,
descended from the sky,
bloomed as white flowers
in their fall,
oozing the spirit of life
chanting our ancestors’ names.

As I woke up
from a timeless nap
I felt the muscles
swollen over my skin.
I touched them
Something was flowing through them
I heard
the rustling of leaves,
the crackling of branches,
gusts of whistling winds.

I felt
My history is in me
I should read my history
Draining my blood out of me.

Ramesh Karthik Nayak is a Banjara (nomadic aboriginal community in South Asia). His writings appeared in Exchanges: Journal of Literary Translation – the University of IOWA, Poetry at Sangam and Outlook India.

Featured image: Felix Mittermeier / Unsplash