A Poem: “Not Second Best in Our Story”

By Amina M. Weston

You have taken our beauty and stripped it.
You hide our bare bones in the depths of Mombi’s closet, for when our cultured bodies suit you.
We lay naked.
Our beauty can never be our own, you have defaced us.
You wear the very same features on your cold bone skin that you once denied us.
Pin pointed plastic beauty destroyed us.

We are put into boxes like caskets buried six feet under and we can’t breathe!
This beauty suffocates us, dark brown ebony skin.
Stripped bare back and broken.
You have taken away the biggest part of us.

Home is where the heart is but we are torn between two lands, and the sea that divides us holds too many lost souls to count.
And we are left holding two ends of a broken string trying to tie sense into this scenario.

You see Dorothy knows that there is a land full of beauty and gold and this emerald city illuminates the truth.

Strong, black-bodied women!

Yet you tell us that Alice could only dream of such a wonderland, it makes me wonder if this land would still accept us.

For we have been tied down; bound and shackled to this first world
We no longer have a place here.

I am trapped in this limbo you call life, forever trapped between two, three
Black, white! British, Muslim! occupier and occupied! We have forgotten our roots.
You see this tree that stands tall has no fixture, grandmother willow has lost her voice and we am forever searching for the colours in the wind because this flag no longer symbolises who we are.

Shape shifting demands chase our essence right down by the bayou and no matter how many frogs we kiss we will be forever trapped in this hourglass we call life and my “genie” can’t hear my calls for help over the sound of your hypocrisy.

We are taught that our lives matter, but are shoved, shot and scalded for the colour of our skin. We are made to feel degraded and worthless by “men of power”.
101+ puppies taken to become the foundation of your warmth.
Cotton on black skin.
We awaken our inner warrior with the sound of barking war cries!

You cannot silence the truth!

You compare us to snakes, so like medusas we stand tall! Too sacred to look deep into our souls our fierce eyes burn holes into your skin leaving you stone cold, and lifeless.
Theresa, Donald and Benjamin are puppets in this game.
No heart and all lies, Pinocchios and gingerbread men made for your amusement.

We are made to believe that we are quasimodos swinging hunched and afraid in a world full of esmeraldas.

But we will not be made to feel second best in our story!