Her Inner Child

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I see her hair plaited into two braids

tied with red ribbons. 

I see her dimpled smile 

her teeth shining through. 

Dressed in her school attire. 

her heavy backpack hanging off one shoulder. 

I see her holding her favorite snack in her hands. 

The local bakery baked chips. 

The 5 rupee pepsi she would get in a plastic bag.

I see her hair permed

shortened till it reached her neck. 

She called it the Lady Diana look.

Copper colored lipstick smeared on her lips.

The dimpled smile patched on her face

as she sat on the straw mat, 

weaving bright colors into her plain clothes 

till the evening yawned into the night.

She’s sitting alongside her cousins.

their loud laughter echoing through the room 

they touch upon an old photograph from their buried past, 

younger selves sitting alongside each other.

The same scene replaying in a different time.

What a glow your face brings

when these conversations are recalled, 

when these faces appear again

cherished memories fill these walls.

Oh, I wonder, my Ammi jaan. 

How much do you miss 

those walks by Muscat’s shore

in the midst of a cold 

October night?

Those newly sewn clothes 

bangles and clips decorating your hair

matched with your cousins 

worn on a joyous Eid morning?

Those afternoon naps 

after tirelessly teaching

eager young students

in the hot May sun?

Those trips to zoos 

children clustered at the back of a minivan

oh, how one might ponder

“How does the whole family fit in?” 

My ammi jaan, I am jealous of your past. 

Of your inner child. 

She still hasn’t said goodbye.

She awakens whenever you step foot 

in your Motherland. 

I feel warm inside,

seeing your inner child

run around the house,

she wears the signature dimpled smile

she has always worn.

Fatima is a 19 year old who was raised in the Arab lands, but is originally from Pakistan. When not exploring her created wonderland, she is either trying out a new recipe (not burning the kitchen down) or hitting the books to achieve her science degree.


  1. Mariam Fareed Reply

    Wow Fatima… this is so beautiful written ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

  2. This is so beautiful. I especially liked this
    “Those newly sewn clothes 

    bangles and clips decorating your hair

    matched with your cousins 

    worn on a joyous Eid morning?”

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