Journey

Updated: Aug 7

I didn't know I was Black

until a Black man called me a 'monkey'.

Then I started to question everything

about the world I lived in.


I looked at how my skin made me different

in a predominately White city.

How my breasts made me stand out

in a male-dominated family.


As the oldest girl, it was my responsibility,

to produce the first grandchild, or great-grandchild.

So I sought meaningless sex and loveless relationships

just to spite those who put undue pressure on me

and my womb.


At least, that's what I thought I was doing.


I met a man in Paris.


Four years my elder,

with gleaming, hazel eyes and a voice that melted

in my chest.


I knew he was trouble.

The kind of trouble the films warn you against.


"Stay away," they all say,

but I didn't listen.

I wanted the danger, the excitement.

In face, craved it.


He gave me the violence in his voice,

the control in his actions,

that reminded me

of home.

There was comfort in his danger

and I couldn't help but go back to him,

time and time again

even when I promised myself

I wouldn't.


Until one day, I left.

I left Paris, I left him.

And I believed myself free.


But in London, I faced a new monster.

Actually, this monster wasn't new,

at least, not to me.


She raised me, after all.

Taught me the meaning of hatred,

anger,

resentment.

And it was then that I realised

sometimes,

people value money,

over their own family.


And so I looked into my Mother's eyes

and saw the beast that I'd tried to suppress within me

for decades

and I was desperate

not to turn out the same.


I sought therapy.

Religion.

Cut and grew my hair a thousand times over

because trauma lived there

and it wouldn't go away.


So I inked my skin as a reminder to keep on living.

A semi-colon on my wrist

to signify that my sentence

isn't over.

The story of my life continues,

and only I can make it worth it.


So I moved across the country

because running suited me best.

But at eight months pregnant,

I knew the running had to end.


For the first time I ran towards the pain

and confronted it head-on.

And looked at the mark on my wrist

to remind me to keep on going.


Because now there was someone else to live for,

With the same smile as mine.

The same chubby cheeks and long forehead.

And I vowed that the pain

and the anger

and the resentment

would not be passed down to him.

In the same way my Mother's was to me.


Now I see the colours of the world changing

from red and blue,

to yellow and pink.

Optimism.

Faith.

As I find myself in spaces occupied

by other people who look like me

and share my same interests.


I hold hope for a brighter future.

Not just for myself

But for the boy who calls me "Mother".

Because I know what it is to be mothered

by someone who never meant to mother at all.


And I look at the little Black girl

who didn't know she was Black

until it became an attack.


And I hold her with me.

The same way I hold my son.

And whisper into her ear each night

words of affirmation,

love,

compassion.

And I see her smile in his.

The me that should have been.

The little Black girl who understands

that her dark skin

is a gift from the gods.

That her breasts nurtured

a life that was destined to heal her.

And that her voice has power beyond her recognition.


And I am here, with her.

Proud, forever.

She is my child too,

And I, her Mother.



17 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

Hope