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My Indian In-laws

 I remember India:
palm trees, monkey families,
fresh lime juice in the streets,
the sensual inundation
of sights and smells
and excess in everything.
I was exotic and believable there.
I was walking through dirt in my sari, to temples of the deities following the lead of my Indian in-laws.
I was scooping up fire with my hands, glancing at idols that held no meaning for me, being marked by the ash.
They smiled at the Western woman, acting religious, knowing it was my way of showing respect.
It was an adventure for me but an arm around their culture for them.
To me it was living a dream I knew I could wake up from.
To them it was the willingness to be Indian that pleased.
We were holding hands across a cultural cosmos, knowing there were no differences hearts could not soothe.
They accepted me as I accepted them, baffled but in love with our wedded mystery.

Poem by Belinda Subraman
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