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Who Am I?
This thought has been stuck on her mind
Like a record stuck on repeat.
Her life seems to be defined by this terminally ill beat
So, she is forced to ask herself the question;
“Who Am I?”
Who was she to demand anyone’s respect or neglect?
How many mistakes would it take
Before it finally hits home, what is at stake
She feared that one day these errors,
Vehicles for change would drive through her heart like a sharp stake
At a young age, she learned to wear her mask well at day
But once all the light went away
Hands and knees, known to tremble and shake
Her persona would crack, fall apart, like Haiti after the earthquake.
From ever since she could remember
Her mind has been molded into a collector,
An amalgamation of predetermined information
She was force-fed notions to stunt her imagination
"Kill any dreams of becoming your own person
"You’re a woman so do as you’re told."
My mother was a dreamer nevertheless
Despite the circumstances, she was dealt
She never failed to try her best,
Even when it became blatantly obvious that her best would never be good enough.
She did not understand why at her young age though.
She was confused and dazed
For all the ways life seemed to be so much simpler for her male siblings
It seemed simply because their name was "man"
Life had given them the idea that
They could own anything they could touch with their hands
She just could not understand
Why the boys were free to roam the land
Climb mango trees in the fields,
And come back home late
While she was stuck at home,
Washing wares, ironing clothes,
Putting dinner on the plate
Yeah, a "Young Woman’s Fate"
But as I mentioned before, my mother was a dreamer
And when no one was around to look,
She would quietly fill in the pages of her history book
A story of a woman who was unafraid to search for herself
Unfortunately, however, the divide did not stop there
For within her family, existed a hierarchy
That would separate those who were dark and those who were fair
Life had placed yet another obstacle in her path
It was testing her resolve.
Every night, she would pray to God to absolve her of her sin
Of having skin with a bit too much melanin
She would wipe away tears of frustration and vexation
That nature had made the selection for her to be a few tones darker in complexion
She was left with thoughts in her mind that sped by like cars on the highway
Drivers on speed would shout profanity at her way
Spitting venom in her direction
Never really stopping to give direction
No eye contact, No connection
Just leaving her behind, behind her wheel, trying to figure it all out, like
Who Am I?
Every day she would hear idealists as they preached their minds,
Yet people only listened to those with power as they sell us what we think we need to find
So, ask yourselves, “Who are we?” as a people
Separated by the hate of our ancestors
Take a step back, try to reset your receptors
"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear"
For if we continue as we are,
We are forever doomed to remain in the dark
Blissfully ignorant, as we disregard what we’re quickly becoming
A generation of lost individuals
Searching for none existent purposes
In a very corrupted world
So, she pauses for a moment…
Often at night, she finds herself tired of the fight
Bombarded by opinions, left and right
Trying to figure it all out, who’s wrong, and who’s right?
But it is no one
Because we all live based on what we know
And we, as people seem to know nothing
So, she is forced to ask herself again
Who Am I?
Given the name "Indira" at birth
She grew to become a spectacular variable
Subject to constant change
Labeled as strange,
Deranged ideas, of normalcy.
She was told not be different from what they wanted
Anything seen as such would only bring detriment
Any attempt to break the mold put in place would be broken down like sediment
Have no space here for sentiments
She was raised to be "herself"
She was expected to conform to the society
She was supposed to abide by the laws that bind her mind under lock and key
It took a very long time before she managed to break free
She now turns to me and asks,
“Stephen, who are you?”
And I do not know what to say
But, I will, like my mother before me,
Continue without fail to search for myself.
Sometimes when I look in the mirror
I can see my mother’s eyes staring back at me
It’s all too familiar, there is a glimmer that is similar
I look deep into the windows of her soul
I see the moment of my birth from the earth
To the point where my body will betray my conviction for life and return to the dirt
I too, like my mother before me
Will leave behind a living legacy
That will tell stories of my life
And the things I found purpose in
Where we come from,
Where we end up
It is all connected by the same tether cord
My eyes see sights she dreamt of so many years ago
Look, your dreams did not die
They took refuge, somewhere deep in your rib cage
Now let them breathe again, let them spread their wings, let them fly.