Often, I want to flick shut
I’m sick of anticipating my own othering.
Thank god for places where people aren’t –
The green of the trees has always been a door
To walk through and become whole.
The green sinks into me and the woods beat
With spires of dock leaves,
Deep red, like a hundred bold hearts.
Who dared trick me
Into thinking I was a guest?
Up ahead, the wild silver lake exists
For a brown girl
To crouch beside it and try to catch the frogs.
About this poem
This poem was chosen by Aoife Lyall as part of the Scottish Poetry Library’s ‘Champions’ project, a guest curatorship programme to help extend our national reach.
Lyall says, ‘Roshni’s poem is open, tender, defiant, and restorative: one that speaks to the value and importance of natural spaces as those free from the burden of assumption, justification and explanation.’
Gallagher says, ‘The poem is about finding the space and freedom to exist fully in nature away from the othering gaze… Not just ‘belonging’ but being fundamentally and intrinsically connected to [the Scottish countryside].’