‘Dislocated’ by Parisa Thepmankorn

Reneé Bibby

I’ve had Parisa Thepmankorn’s poem ‘Dislocated’ queued for the Wilds for a while now. I circled the poem again and again, and finally figured out why I’d waited so long—it felt too personal. My feelings for this poem are overwhelming, due in part to the way she elucidates what I’ve only sensed within my own family when a parent is sundered by the transition of immigration. Through poetry, Thepmankorn expands on the social law: that in order to gain something, something else must be given up—which means, for some, a life shadowed by a left-behind land. A life in the grey spaces between two countries and cultures. In her poem I can see my own family, the accumulated grief of parents who make sacrifices for their children. She’s written a poem I wish I’d been able to write to my own parents, an acknowledgement of their sacrifice, their grief, and, ultimately, their greatness.