Words

Sometimes the words rattle around loudly in my head.

They are in no particular order. Just many. I’m overwhelmed.

They want me to write them.

How can I, when I can’t follow or keep up sometimes? I’m confused.

What do you want me to say? I’m frustrated.

If you won’t be clear, be quiet. I yell.

I’m a crazy person. I’m yelling at myself.

The words are me and they are not.

They don’t listen. They can do that. Be wilful.

I will stop listening I say to me. I don’t have to listen to this jumble.

Is it jumble, they ask? Or are you just afraid to sit with it and unravel it.

Are you afraid to write us, they ask?

I am. I hate them for knowing it. Worse, for saying it.

I will quit. I’m annoyed. I threaten.

Anger is a great cover.

*chuckles.* They laugh at me. I laugh at me.

Quit and go where? We are one.

Write about how the language of the oppressor consumes and becomes the language of the oppressed.

What?? Why?! No

The drone gets louder. Arrogant even.

They know they will win. Eventually, I will sit down.

Write about the lie that God’s goodness and reward are reserved for the afterlife.

I really don’t want to, I say.

Write a short poem to the African in-law. I really really don’t want to.

Write it.

Resistance is futile. I have tried it. I tried it.

The words ring until they hurt. Overwhelm.

I always end up here. In surrender.

Sometimes, even tearful surrender.

Writing.

Relieved.

At home.

Knowing I can never leave permanently.

Not even if I wanted to.

I can’t.

This is my air. This is my home.

Within and without me.

I saw a sculpture.

A man trapped under a fallen drum 3 times his size.

I did not read the description. I didn’t need it.

The words supplied one.

“Trapped under the weight of his gift,” they said.

I got it.

In-law

If you raise your daughter
to be the woman you tried to make your daughter-in-law,
would you be proud?

Chio, 2022 (c)

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