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"Mother Tongue" by He Chen Si Rui 2D/20

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

That was my original voice

Before all the outsiders’ noise

Rushed into my ears so abruptly

And I didn’t have a choice

That was my original tongue

I hear it like a song

It flowed from within

It’s the one with me all along

Now different sounds

Flow from my tongue

It flows from practice

It was so I could belong

Now no one sang the song

That surrounded me when I was young

All I hear are stutters of a stream

It seems like theirs were not within

How could that be?

Aren’t they the same as me?

I thought it was guaranteed

Was I too naive?


I had always thought my family was based in Sichuan, because that was where all my relatives who were in China are living in. Only today that I found out that my grandparents moved from Huguang which doesn’t even exist anymore, because the names and splitting of areas have changed

In my poem I tried to convey how I was more familiar with Chinese than English , as in English is more like in my head(?) and Chinese is more like in my heart. Also how I expected people to be able to speak Chinese here because most are Chinese but then I realise I was kind of wrong:0

I tried to convey that by trying to conveying that. I like to use metaphors/similes (idk the difference) and I included rhetorical questions.

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