Nomad Online


They say I’m Korean.

They say that’s the heritage

I’m born into. I had no choice in

The matter, like the long line of ancestors

Who came before me and died on that land.

My parents however flew away

Like migrating birds they travelled

From country to country chasing duty and

Other people’s dreams.

I am a result of their long journey that halted in the southern most part of that great southern land.

My ethnicity. My place of birth. My nationality. My place of residence.

They’re all different.

Scattered parts that make up my whole.

I knew Japanese and Mandarin once.

One, would rather swallow pain and offence than have the truth of their sharp edges cut you.

The other, so honest you would know exactly what make and model of truck was coming down the road to run you over.

Like magic I could catch their words in the air and understand their meaning.

There was even a time I spoke Singlish like a local.

But not before my British expat nursery teacher taught us all how to queue.

I’ve swum in cultures different to my family.

Tasted their ideas. Soaked up how they shared love and care so differently.

I now speak my mother-tongue like a foreign language.

Haltingly and with another accent.

They call us code switchers. But I disagree.

Nothing really switches. Honour. Duty. Care. And respect are all the same.

Love and hearts and blood are the same.

We just learn how to share the same truth in different ways.

That’s my heritage. Uncomfortable like nettles but worth every sting.


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Posted Recently
April 2023
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