Arts & Culture Black Lives Matter Movement Highlights Poetry Poetry Reads

For Her: aloT of Poetry (Adetola Adedipe)

I’m sitting alone in my room

Feeling all my feelings at once 

The one’s I still have and the one’s I’ve lost

I’m writing for you. 

I want to apologize to you

I want you to know how sorry I am for

not appreciating you.

No shallow sincerity 

No in genuine excuses

I will get on my knees 

till they are torn and bleed

Until I can forgive myself and hope you forgive me too.

As a black woman I always felt like 

less than and there was 

nothing I could do. 

I look back to the little girl with caramel skin 

not knowing her grandparents

Somehow hoping they had uncomplicated complexions 

And no trace of melanin so she could feel like the other kids. 

I’m sorry for growing up and seeing you as something different 

I saw your darker skin as a cloud hanging over me.

I saw your figure as something less than desired 

instead of something chiseled 

out of gold and lined in diamonds. 

I’m sorry for trying to tear myself from you 

to be something that I’m not .

To crave to be a part of a whole with no space for my soul

because the world told me so.

I’m sorry for cursing your weakness instead 

of feeling your struggle.

I’m sorry for trying to hide your scars instead 

of kissing them and telling you that I understand. 

I’m sorry for not holding you in my

arms and claiming you as mine.

I’m sorry for denying our bond

and yet you still embraced me 

as your child. 

I’m sorry that you were violated.

That people from far and wide

came to rob you blind .

One that took you hostage and plant their seeds 

just to sell your fruit. 

I’m sorry they took your children from you 

I’m sorry the beings born from your tree

And sacred body

were spread further than where you could reach

and they grew up not knowing who you are.

It took me a while 

but I now know who you are.

I think I always did.

These eyes see clearer than before

The clouded vision that told me 

That I wasn’t worthy is now crystal clear 

I’m sorry for looking at my mother and father and not seeing 

their strength reflected in me.

Who we are

What they’ve gone through

because their story is true

And what our stories tell us and what we learn in school 

are different kinds of truth. 

Because the truth is we are you

I am you

you are me 

you are vibrant, mystic, rhythmic

and everything I love to be.

You glow in the dark and shine in the sun 

You are burdened by grief

but you are rich with love.

Your soil carries life 

and that life lies in my soul 

you are an indescribable piece

of what makes me whole 

You are etched into me 

my blood is dyed in your colours

We are so many and so far

But our hearts beat to your drums

I have seen the light on your unyielding horizon

And I finally feel like my 

brothers and sisters are one

And like the sun we are rising 

We are at the carnival in the Caribbean 

We are the waves at the coast

we are the oasis in the dessert 

that quenches your thirst 

when your identity is desperate 

for a taste 

of who you are. 

We are the shades of brown from Cape to Cairo 

Spread every direction

East to west and then back around again

I now crave the smell of her summer rain

and I can hear the sounds …

The pitter patter of the water hitting our crowns…

can you hear her calling you?

She wants you to come home 

not to fly a thousand miles to see her 

but to look at your neighbor

and see your family reflected in them 

your home is there

and she is always with you.

Mama Africa. 

I’m sorry for apologising for who I am

I’m sorry for trying to bury my greatness in the sand.

I’m sorry for pretending I couldn’t hear your music

I’m sorry for pretending that I didn’t want to dance. 

But now I move to your rhythms

Your flavours dance on my tongue

I taste your sweet delicacies

I look in the mirror and see

power and beauty 

I feel my black girl magic

And nobody can take that away from me.

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