Legacies of the Colonized by Moni Brar

Poem name: Legacies of the Colonized Poet name: Moni Brar Poem begins:    it’s not like that.  there were soft things lapping at our    ankles, countless unbidden                         treasures, before  you showed up.     there was hope  and wild peacocks on our rooftop     waiting for handfuls of grain,       raining upwards                       in the sky.     there was joy  as slight as a young neem tree, a    smooth melancholy before        your booted heel  ground us down.     then you left  not in one fell swoop, but by    slowly plucking the tender       tissue of our entwined lives.     you planted   self-loathing in places deep as     bore holes, filling us with a        warm, thick hate that just won’t quit.     my father   beats my mother religiously     after temple, leaves marks like       birthmarks, but they’re nothing like them. End of poem.  Credits and bio: Copyright © Moni Brar Previously published in Existere Journal of Arts & Literature (Vol. 39.2, Spring/Summer 2020, p. 44). Born in rural India, Moni Brar now gratefully divides her time between the unsurrendered territories of the Treaty 7 Region and the Syilx Okanagan Nation. Her writing explores the connections of time, place and identity in the immigrant experience, diasporic guilt, religious violence, and the legacy of trauma resulting from colonization. She is inspired by writers who take an oppositional stance and work towards decolonizing western frameworks of culture and identity. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and she is the runner-up in PRISM international’s 2021 Grouse Grind Prize, shortlisted for Arc’s 2021 Poem of the Year, and a finalist in the 2021 Alberta Magazine Awards. Her writing can be found in The Literary Review of Canada, Prairie Fire, Passages North, CV2, Vallum, and Hobart, among others.