Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2022 finalist King Hey Chan. King finished 9th grade this past school year and wrote a poem called “Where I am from.” King remarked that the element he likes the best about his poem is his “description and imagery.” Enjoy!


Where I am from
By King Hey Chan 

I am from toys,

from silk, and cotton handkerchiefs.

I am from rain dripping from my face

(wet, cold,

tasting like salt).

I am from Areca Palms and

Pandan Trees

whose sweet smell I remember 

would fill my house.


I am from Roti Canai and caring grandparents,

from Bright Light Elementary (my old school) 

and Ipoh (my hometown).

I am from celebrations with fireworks

and rice cakes.


I’m from Selangor River,

Nasi Lemak, fried rice, and strong coffee,

from the memory my great-grandmother lost

to COVID-19.

The mask my family had to wear to keep our lives

could not keep hers.


Hiding inside my white cabinet 

I spill out old pictures from a box.

Lost and found faces float

back into my conscious mind.

I am from those moments 

before I was born and the salvaged 

leaves of my family tree.



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