Wednesday, February 17, 2016

They Wanted

They wanted me to be quiet
Head down
To give my silence freely
To mark all things, good and bad, without a word

They wanted me to be short
To blend in
To be inconspicuous
"Don't stand out," they say.

They wanted me to be dumb
To not understand
To let them play tricks
To let them win
To let them do whatever they win

They wanted me to work hard
Too hard
To the point of exhaustion
Without a thought
Without reluctance
For them

But I say what I want
I can't let them rule my words
I will make a joyful noise or an angry shout

I was born to stand out
To be tall
To be seen
To be closer to the sky

The ancestors made me clever
Who am I to forsake them?
Who am I to waste my parents' education?
Why, just because I was born a girl?

Everyone and everything must rest
I am no exception
I will not fall for the deception
That I will break my back
So they will step over my body
I will work for myself

I am my own African woman
So watch me live

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