I am made of concrete jungles
of cracked pavement flower babies
dandelion seeds and taxi seat windows.
I am made of rainy Sundays
Well rainy everydays
of woods hiding secret gardens
and narrow winding streets holding years of industrial history.
But I am also made of rolling green hills.
Of sugar cane stalks and multi-coloured rubble stone houses
of sweet church Sundays
Rum cake birthdays
Sun slicked skin, sinking rivers
and mornings soaked in honey scented dew.
I am born of islands.
Of England and Jamaica raising me equal parts city and country
domesticated idiosyncrasies drawing me always to the sea
to the trees
to history wrapped up in classroom textbooks,
or grandmother’s knees.
So I suppose it makes sense that I ended up here.
A land I had never heard of dripping in history
But there’s something all sorts of tragic
about being somewhere you don’t belong.
I don’t know how to call Canada home
I’ve been here for twelve years and I still get asked where I’m from.
And I know that England is not the answer they are looking for.
My father does not like the Rastafari
Because they want to return to a motherland they have never been to,
weren’t raised to love it like those who lived in it,
So Sierra Leone never slips easily off my tongue in response to where I’m from
because I have never had her earth under my nails.
Never watched the Sun melt into her oceans
like I watched it rise over Jamaica’s hills
Never tasted her sweet fruit, or seen the baboons,
or been left outside in torrential rain season
like I’ve had England’s rain fill up my boots.
But my mother says I look African.
I wear the dark skin well,
the plump lips sexy,
Thick thighs, hips wide
one sided hereditary.
I am a mix breed lady.
And it bothers me that I do not know all my sides equally.
Only raised on stories,
on white washed textbooks
and guilt fueled I’m sorry’s.
But sorry does not change the shades between us.
Does not dull the automatic
the inquiring eyes burning
you do not belong,
Go back to where you came from
Our use for you is done
I cannot call Canada home
but I cannot go anywhere else.
I often wonder if I want to reclaim my roots
because I have something to prove.
That I belong somewhere,
I have so much history in my skin
that I must fit in,
I just have to find it.
The beautiful thing about this country,
is that it’s a wild flower garden,
A hodgepodge comradery of cultures
and people, moulding
to the surroundings of a new nation
that accepts their different.
I will go to Sierra Leone.
I know I will because it’s a question that burns in me
fires too deep to quell.
And I do not know what I will find.
What I will learn.
Only that I will recapture a part of myself
that is already a part of my cells
because I am made of islands.
And Sierra Leone is on the coast.
And the domestic idiosyncrasies in me
pull me towards the sea
and textbooks filled with histories
of other wanderers
out there or