Tuesday, August 4, 2009

trapped by now - original poem

right now i feel trapped
by my skin,
my body type,
my hair texture, this depression,
trapped by smiles that don't last,
by my voice,
and the personality i can't get past.
the mind's eyes view of me is
fit, toned;
and happy.

but right now,
i'm trapped by society's image of a belligerent black girl
in a cookie-cutter upper-class world.
i know that inside her is an intelligent, strong, courageous african (and panamanian) queen.

but right now,
i'm trapped under a layer of fat that sugar keeps tricking me into indulging.
when i run, i know there's an athlete in here waiting to be set free.
someday all will see what's trapped inside of me,

but for now,
i'm trapped in the house when it rains; i avoid humidity
when others have proven that hair can testify to the life i am working to achieve.
time and money are gifts given to those who will use them wisely,
and there isn't enough of either to fit straighteners and salon stylists into the routine.

right now,
i'm trapped by all the things i'm not supposed to say.
i feel guarded when i should be able to use words to stimulate faith.
i know my voice has value when i use it the right way.

but right now,
i'm trapped by the desire to be someone you will understand,
trapped by standards with which i wish to comply but can't.
and yet i know the uncommon are the ones chosen to make a stand.

i'm trapped by now.

i am a snake ready to shed dead skin,
a butterfly hat has yet to crack open her cocoon.
i am change waiting for the brave to usher me in,
and a land that longs for daytime while staring at the moon.
i am a pregnant woman in her third trimester, ready to be free,
but knowing she'd better wait
if she wants to give birth to something better than now.

dawn is breaking.
people are learning.
hearts are awakening.
heads are turning.
some are being born
while others are re-creating.
i see it coming!
the future is tired of waiting.
the first battle is over
and victory is so close there's no more anticipating freedom!

we're trapped by now,
but with each breath we take, now becomes then,
and the trap gets further and further away.
one day we'll wake up in the future
and have our God to thank for getting us out of the now.

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