"A Traveler" by Rono Hem ('19)


A traveler looks for a home

Born with a name he could not choose,

Forever an outcast in his own land,

Seeks comfort in the unknown.


Bitter words sink into his skin as he cuts his own flesh

An outsider, an animal, a leper, an abomination;

Idolater, pork eater, noisemaker, uncultured, savage.

A traveler cries “I am but a man!"


Lips sewn together by a copper wire,

Passionate at heart yet encapsulated by layers of dead skin.

Called a heretic by ones he considered his own kind,

Begs his Gods for liberation and justice.


Travels thousands of miles over the oceans in search for home,

The foreign soil feels cold under his blistered feet,

Slowly engulfed by the poisonous soil he lets out a cry;

As finally, a traveler realizes he has no home, he is alone.