A Childhood of Sorts


I lay in bed and listen to my innocent self step into the night,

the low moan of the crickets and the cacophony of silence that follow oppressive.

I can taste the fear in my mouth as I glared at the darkness making monsters of my playthings,

the stunted tree I loved to fall from now a unfathomable evil.

My yammering heart beats the ngoma of my people and in that moment I am one with my ancestors.

They too stood fearful against the encroaching darkness and feared the falling skies.

I was a child then, still cradled in the bosom of my black mother, ignorant of her lush mysteries

Now I lay in bed having lost my tongue and my purpose, sick of the fear that fills my adopted mother

Sick of her oil spill fingers spilling hatred across my innocent black skin, staining it darker than coal

falling like snow on the eve of a hijacked holiday for those who never braved the fiery sun

But even now, innocence long forgotten like my childhood fantasies of building a house where we could be safe

even now the fear lingers like a sore taste in my mouth.

I am not afraid of the dark, like my ancestors I dance to the ngoma beat of my heart against the night

but there are some that cannot hear the music and that is what I fear.

I fear those who hate the darkness and the lush mysteries hidden within and I fear that I

innocent no longer am much to close to black for the ones who are afraid to forgive

So I lay in bed and dream of long forgotten moment stolen from the past when I was a boy

and the worst fear I could imagine was a shadowy tree cloaked in shadows turning into a monster.



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