“Does my life even merit a verse?”
I’ve never written a poem, ‘cos I’ve never suffered.
I’ve never watched my mum being beaten by my dad.
Or stepdad, or the man-who-lives-with-us
I never cried late at night ‘cos I didn’t have anything to eat.
I never saw my mum struggle to make ends meet
My life is a cycle… You can’t tell one end from the other.
I’m not a spoken word king. Cos I don’t have a deaf and dumb sister.
I don’t know how it feels to go hungry for days on end.
I’ve never been in Somalia so I waste my food.
I’ve never been dirt poor, I’ve never begged. Not for anything.
I’ve never been depressed so I smile a lot and laugh a lot too.
I’ve never failed an exam so I don’t learn too much.
Sometimes, I wish I’ve felt pain so I can be a lyrical genius.
So I could be a female Joshua Bennet or a black Adele
Artists dedicate their art:
“This is for the thick chicks”
“This is for my brother. Prisoner number 214”
“This is for my deaf sister”
I don’t have a poor, bruised, hurt relative or friend
I’m not a poet or a playwright, but I have a pen.
And I can write.
So this is for me.
This is for my fun life, for parents who were always there.
And even when they weren’t, the million and 1 aunts and uncles willing to coddle me.
For good schools and plenty food and sweets after meals.
For blessings upon blessings and the God who made them possible.
This is for my dimples and my cute smile and my small body that makes me so portable.
This is for my good grades and my inquisitive mind and the books I read
And this is for the friends who listen and the strangers who smile
For that complete stranger who smiled at me in traffic when I was 6 or 7 or 8
This is for the parents I was given who are strict but wise and who know what’s best
And this is for my brothers who try
This is for years of a good life
For my ability to laugh through tears. Anybody’s tears
And laughing so hard I cry real tears
This is for that part of me that knows the truth always. Even when I’m lying to myself.
This is for everything good in this world.
For sunshine and rain, and butterflies, and rainbows and the promise of gold.
This is for me. And for everyone out there who like me will always smile
No matter what ‘cos others have it worse.
“In the context of the universe, your story is worth a verse”
Does my life even merit a verse?
My story is worth two verses. maybe more.