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QUIET

I REMEMBER MY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN AMERICA. I REMEMBER IT LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. I WAS NERVOUS, BUT NOT AFRAID. MY RELATIVES TAUGHT ME THAT I SHOULD NOT FIGHT, UNLESS I WANTED TO GO BACK TO MY COUNTRY BY MYSELF.

SO I BECAME QUIET.

ME, THIS LAGOS KID WHO COULD WALK 30 MINUTES FROM SCHOOL TO HOME ALONE AND UNAFRAID BECAUSE I WAS READY TO FIGHT, BECAME QUIET.
I WAS A RESPECTFUL CHILD, WHEN I WAS A LAGOS KID. I’D SIT IN CLASS, OR CHURCH WITH MY FRIENDS AND I NEVER GOT IN TROUBLE.

UNLESS SOME KID NEEDED ME TO REMIND HIM THAT EVEN THOUGH THIS CUTE UNIFORM DRESS I WORE REPRESENTED ME AS A LADY, I WOULD NOT HESITATE TO BEAT HIM LIKE A BOY.

SO BEING QUIET IN AMERICA WAS NOT DIFFICULT, BUT IT WAS NOT EASY.
I SAT IN CLASS ON MY 1ST DAY OF SCHOOL READY FOR WHAT THE TEACHER HAD IN STORE. REALITY STRUCK ME WHEN I HEARD THE TEACHER’S ACCENT. I WAS NOT AFRAID, BUT I WAS WORRIED THAT I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO MIMIC THAT ACCENT.

SO I KEPT QUIET, JUST IN CASE I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO FIT IN. I WAS BU…

MAMA, WHERE ARE YOU?

HOW WILL YOU CARRY YOUR CHILDREN?

WILL YOUR PELVIC BONE BE BROKEN

IN ORDER FOR YOU TO BARE LIFE? LIKE ME?

WHERE IS YOUR FERTILITY?

WHERE IS YOUR WAIST?

WHERE ARE YOUR HIPS AND WHY ARE YOUR LIPS SO BIG?

WHY ARE YOUR CHEEKS SO BIG AND SUNKEN?

MAMA, WHY DO I SEE YOUR BONES?

I CAN FEEL YOUR SPINE

AND I CAN SEE YOUR CHEST AND COLLAR BONE.

MAMA, I CAN FIT YOUR TWO WRISTS IN THE CIRCLE OF MY THUMB & INDEX.

WHERE ARE YOUR BREASTS, MAMA?

I SAY, YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO FEED YOUR CHILDREN.

HOW DO YOU KEEP STILL AS THE WIND BLOWS?

YOU’RE CUTE..

YET, YOU’LL NEVER BE BEAUTIFUL LIKE ME

I CAN’T FIND YOUR BACK

HONEY, YOU FRONT LIKE A MAN.

WHAT ARE YOU?

MAMA, WHERE DO YOU COME FROM?

WHAT WAS HE THINKING AS HE DROPPED THE TINY HINT OF BEAUTY,

BUT MISSED ALL THE ENDOWMENTS?


YOUR SOLES ARE TOO CRACKED UP

TO RUB AGAINST ME, MAMA

YOUR SKIN..

I CAN BARELY FIND YOU.

AS THE MOON ATTEMPTS TO BARE ONLY IT’S LIGHT UPON YOU,

MAMA, WHERE ARE YOU?

Originally published on parallelmagz.com
Odabó,
Oluwanitori