Dear child, Your blackness is no plague!
I see what you do…
How you hunch your back,
As if your colour is a heavy burden.
How you try to bleach your skin with snail tears,
How you stretch your spongy hair to submission,
How you speak with your nose:
A sibilant, simulated accent; striking; piteously masking!
How you shave your legs the moment a tiny follicle is spotted,
How you wince with pain when you try to walk on your toes,
How you have aches because a lady must sit straight-backed and shoulder-high; trying not to gyrate your African waist,
How you pick at your food with anorexic fingers,
How you do this,
How you do that…
But dear child,
You can’t fool the wizened tortoise!
What you see when you stand is what I see even when I crawl.
I see that you’re tired; you are strained, stretched!
I hear your strident, silent call for redemption.
So Darling, hear me clearly!
Anytime, you forget how rich your blackness is,
Look at the loamy soil, let it and the attendant fruits remind you of your riches!
Let your blackness blaze!
Priscilla Ahaiwe is a Behaviour Technician, a poet and a writer. She helps children living with the Autism Spectrum Disorder become independent and live functional lives. She’s currently working on becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst. A graduate of Mass Communication and a lover of written and spoken words, her first book is currently in the works.