I have this rock in my hand

I have this rock in my hand,
It is my memory.
It was uprooted from its home
By the river bank.
I took it with me.
It became my home
That I carried in my backpack.
I carried it across oceans and continents
In my red backpack.


It reminds me of my home.
It reminds me of you.
It is my home.
It is you.

The river ran over it.
For millions of sunsets.
For millions of times
That I walked by it,
It remained unnoticed.
Till I noticed.
The cracks and the crevices.
The darkness and the whiteness.
The smoothness and the graininess.
The world hidden beyond its crevices.
The stories that this rock has hidden
In its depths.

One day, a feather came flying
From nowhere.
It rested on it for the day.
And when the wind came and swept it away,
The rock did not complain.
It remained.
In silence and in patience.

I walked by the rock.
Its wait became my wait,
Its loss was mine.
I picked it up,
Held it in my palms.
I took it away in my backpack.
I never returned.

But they say
The wind often carries
The feather to that shore.
While my rock rests
In one corner of my red Samsonite backpack.
In silence and in patience.


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Sukanya Thumbnail I am an artist-scholar and Assistant Professor in Theatre Studies at the School of Theatre and Dance, San Francisco State University. I received my doctoral degree in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford in June 2016. My dissertation, completed under the guidance of Dr. Jisha Menon, was awarded the Charles R. Lyons Memorial Prize for Outstanding Dissertation. My research project was supported by the Graduate Research Opportunities Award in Stanford, which facilitated my fieldwork in India and Bangladesh during the summer of 2013 and 2014; and the Wisch Fellowship by the Center for South Asia, Stanford University, for my work in South Asian theater and performance studies. My training and specialization are in the area of oral history; postcolonial and ethnic studies (with a focus on South Asian performance studies); ethnomusicology; dramatic literature; transcultural theater and performance; experimental devised performances; and community-based performance-making.


It would be wonderful to hear back from you, and you can always reach me via email.

Sukanya C.