Yesterday, I called my grandmother
I asked her what it meant to be an African woman,
To hold and protect a household, that you’ve built.
To carry a household on your back with a single yirame,
Tie it to your chest and your stomach,
To quiet it down whenever it cries, pacing yourself with calmness and ease
To feed it when it’s hungry,
To never scream,
Even when you’ve been told multiple times that you are just a woman,
To claim the kitchen as your safe haven because you’re just a woman.
But you’re more than that.
Yesterday I called my grandmother,
I asked her what it means to be an African woman,
You are worthy.
black and blue
Every time she closes her eyes, she’s hoping to see that five year old girl, running freely
A smile spreading across her face,
Never having to worry about anyone touching her.
Black and blue, now when she closes her eyes, she sees you, your darkness right beside her,
Coddling and holding her too tight,
Black and blue, when she closes her eyes, she sees you on top of her, your hot breath on her neck, your hands in places where it shouldn’t be
Black and blue, when she closes her eyes, she’s telling you no,
she now hears your laughter,
she now sees you.
For who you are.
The devil in you.
Black and blue , she now sees you.