WovenA Poem by Livana Lowell
People ask me
what I'm mixed with
like I'm supposed to reach into the tapestry of my ancestry
and pull something out like there's no kind of beauty
in just being black
almost like they meant to ask
me to push aside the black part
of me and paint it some other color
but I find I don't want to
because black is beautiful.
Now when I was young and had low self esteem
thought ugly the most beautiful part of me
like I used to hate the color brown
and how every time I looked down
I would see it all over my skin.
I would pretend
sometimes I was Mexican
but couldn't speak Spanish
since I didn't fit into my own community right
outcast by the color of my speech
and skin as if I went to the store and stitched it on me
Inside of me, begged a girl
to be seen and heard
as a strong black woman I knew I would become
strong as Lucy Terry Prince when she defended
the right to good education for her son
as thoughtful as Zora Neale Hurtson
free and protective of my identity like Janie
strong willed as Sojourner Truth
when she escaped to freedom with her baby
full of action like Frances Lee Harper
as lively as Alice Walker.
I sniffed the perfume of their legacy
The sweat of their stories
The little girl stopped begging
When she dried her tears and began reaching
Into a sky black like the ink that captures poetry
And pulled out yarn and began to weave
Hums flowing from her thick lips like rivers
She envisioned she would craft a mirror
To capture a reflection for herself full of roots and trees
A reflection of a light skinned sister
grabbing the hand of a dark skinned sister
with deep understanding
that both are rich in diversity but from the same land.
what I'm mixed with
I'll unfold my tapestry
and tell you the darkest parts of me.
© 2017 Livana Lowell
AboutSooo, hello guys! Not much to say about me. I've been a writer since I was in kindergarten. I used to write stories about dinosaurs surviving the meteor (my favorites ones usually lived) because I had.. more..
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