Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Poem For My Daughter When She Asks, 'Don't we belong?'

It’s not long
before my daughter asks
don’t we belong?’
How do I make her understand
the only world she knows
can’t stand those who look like her,
her mother, or any child she ever has.
I breathe deep, hold tears
and tell what mothers like me
tell daughters liker her:

sit down. Listen up and
remember everything mama says.
Life isn’t going to be easy.
Know what people see
when they look at us
is just the colour of our skin.
So they take the lilt in our laughter
to label us monsters
Then proclaim our ‘difference’
is what makes them our masters.
Their rage blinds
from seeing our souls and grasping 
we’re also flesh and bones.
Woven with our blood is
their chosen cloak, and
they still shout ‘Don’t choke’
while they stand on our throats.

It’s a toxic paradox
that mocks feeble people
and pushes into a box
Put heavy locks,
and  they levy tax
for air
we can’t breath
for food
we can’t eat.
and still we meet
irony that cheats
at each gate,
handing out mutilated fates.

But baby, don’t forget,
in our broken ribs
rest battered hearts
that still protest and
beat a constant beat
So sing of our shattered dreams
spilled at the foot of their whims. And
when they yell, don’t stop
tell stories of  our scars
gathered in their wars.
Don’t let them white-wash
our past, stand tall,
don’t whine,
hold a mirror to their crimes.
Let them resist, you persist
till they swallow their hate
I know it’s a long wait, but
it won’t be too late
before love illuminates
what lies out there,
beyond black and white.

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