Tracing Steps Chapbook by Narinda Heng

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Tracing Steps is a collection of prose and poetry by Khmer-American writer and organizer Narinda Heng.

The chapbook is an exploration of her experience of "home" and family, from Southern California to Cambodia.

48 pages.


An excerpt:


Ten years old,
playing hide-and-go-seek,
I ran into my grandmother’s closet.

I stepped into the darkness
breathless and giggling,
baffled when my feet
sank into soft, smooth somethings.

More intent on hiding,
I ignored the sticky juice between my toes,
tucked myself behind the itchy
woolen sweaters, and waited.

The closet door slid open
and I was found out.
The light revealed a box of mangos,
many of them crushed.

I was petulantly
unapologetic about the destruction–
why were they in the closet anyway?

I think of those mangos
and my grandmother,
her hunched, arthritic back,
and the plates of freshly sliced mango
she would place in front of me.

They were my favorite
and everyone knows
fruit ripens faster
in the dark.

Her online notebook is, where she began writing as a participant in The Writers Workshop (