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Unfinished, by Sonam Tsomo Chashutsang

My mother spent her childhood grazing

yaks, collecting firewood. She didn't read or write,

but memorized prayers and mantras as if they were her own.

A few years back the elders in my hometown asked for notebooks

and pencils. Every Sunday, my mother and her friends

went to school. She would come home with crooked As and Bs

on the pages of her book.

She would practice until she got them right.

On Sunday, all day she did her homework

with my nieces and nephews, they were her second

teachers. Now, the notebook and the pencil lay under her pillow.

The other day, I saw a crooked M written on the old abandoned

walls. I go there hoping to see her perfecting her alphabets.

Sonam Tsomo Chashutsang is a poet who writes in Tibetan, English, and Hindi. She has a degree in creative writing from Miami University, and publishes in the Khabdha online journal, one of the most popular Tibetan literary sites, and TibetWrites site, which publishes the creative work of Tibetan writers. Her work has been published in Newtown Literary Magazine, New York and the Tibet Special issue of Cadernos, titled "Testemunho poético de tibetanos no exílio" ("The Poetic Testimony of Tibetan in Exile").

Born and raised in Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India. She attended Sarah College in Dharamshala before moving to the United States under a scholarship at Miami University, Ohio. Sonam holds a degree in creative writing and a minor in communication. She refuses to be stereotyped and wears oversized clothes!

"In my free time, I like to people-watch in New York City."


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