Whose am I?

Who do I think I am, running a blog? After changing my major? While taking three STEM classes at once, AND joining a research lab? Who do I think I am, saying I’ve beaten depression and anxiety while tragedy after tragedy try to throw them back in my face? Who do I think I am, saying I’ve grown, saying I’ve been renewed?

Who am I?

Questions like these are just the tip of the introspection iceberg, and like a broken record,  my mind has been playing them over and over these last few months. When I look back at my writing, I can see that it often boils down to the who/what/when/where/why/how I am the way that I am, and I’ve come to realize that the answers lie in another question:

Whose am I?

Continue reading “Whose am I?”

2.21.18 – home

I just wanna go home

home to my uncles T O and M, I called them Uncle TOM when I was four

I just want to go home, home to my momma

between you and me, I call her Mommy, but her hugs make me feel more secure than four walls ever could

and I don’t like being touched

I don’t like feeling confined

but none of that matters when I’m home, because when I’m home, I have meaning

Iyaniwura

I’m not just five syllables strung together, no

when I’m home, I’m an honor

I know my dad named me for his mom, but to me? Iya ni wura? my mother is as precious as gold

when I’m home, I am the truth

because my momma?

perfection

and her momma?

priceless

and her momma?

I’m sure she was

priceless

perfection

but she’s Home now

if only she could’ve waited a little longer

I know she’d been around for me times five minus five, but I would give anything for five minutes with her

my momma told me that that thing I do when I sit, the way I sway and bounce, the way I can’t keep still, she said I got that from her momma’s momma

she told me that her momma’s momma loved rice

when have I ever turned down carbs?

she told me that since that’s her momma’s momma, I should already know what she was like

and I know she meant to imply that her momma’s momma was crazy, just like her momma is, but I’m sure she was perfection

priceless

did you know my great grandma was a princess?

her daddy was a king, so before she got married she had to ride around the village on a horse, and if the horse didn’t poop, that meant she wasn’t a virgin

horse poop

determined your virginity

anyway, that’s just how it was back then, back home

but sometimes, I wonder how much my home defines me

confines me

because if you were to ask me, I’d tell you i’m Nigerian, I just live in Jersey

but leave me alone in Ibadan for five minutes, and I’d get lost in that city

I don’t even know how we’d get there, my Nigerian passport expired years ago, and I was gonna renew it over February Break but then my momma’s momma’s momma died so…

anyway, I just don’t know

because when I go home, if I start to sway and bounce my momma asks me “ki lon ṣele”, and she doesn’t call me Yani, or even Wura

she calls me Yetunde

that’s what my momma named me, because my momma’s daddy’s momma went to her Home just two months before I got to mine

Yetunde, my mother has come back

I am the worth of a mother, the return of a mother, do you see where my importance lies?

when I’m with my momma, I’m safe and sound in the home she builds around me, and when I’m with my momma’s momma I’m well fed, physically and spiritually

and I know that’s how they felt when they were with my momma’s momma’s momma

but she’s Home now

and I’m here, wishing and praying to go to a home that defines me without confining me, a home where I fear no one’s touch, a home where I have worth, a home I can return to

I don’t always know where that is, but I know I’ll always have my momma

and my momma’s momma

and my momma’s momma’s momma

I am a continuation

I am royalty

I am perfection

I am priceless

because of my home

2.21.18

2.11.18 – Somebody knew

I feel like… I don’t know who

but I feel like somebody new

 

I’ve been told that my voice sounds like the moon

 

I don’t know what the moons sounds like

 

so now, I study it at night

I wanna find myself in it

 

I’ve been told that my life looks like the Son

 

now I know what the Son looks like, but I still study Him at night

so I can find myself in Him

 

I’ve been told that I am fearfully and wonderfully made

full of fear, yet full of wonder

 

I’m not talkin bout that, “mommy, I’m scared, can you read me a bedtime story?”

I’m talkin bout, “mommy, when you held me in your belly, I was being built piece by piece to be somebody new by Somebody Who knew me before you did, Somebody Who knew my story and my song, Somebody Who knew everything I could do and everyone I could be, Who knew me”

 

do you know who I am?

 

I am full of fear

fear to be up on this stage, to be here at this stage in my life where I feel like I need to have all the answers

it’s like I’ve learned how to juggle this that and the third, but the word I was missing was balance, because every amazing feat I complete is easily defeated if I’m not steady on my feet

If I’m not ready

 

I am full of wonder

do you know what wonder is?

I wonder if you wonder about the fact that you’re alive

I wonder if you look just to look, just to realize that you can see and you know your reds from your blues and your socks from your shoes and you just know

or maybe you can hear that half step between dissonance and harmonies, maybe you can draw stick figures with symmetrical arms cuz see, I can’t do that

and I wonder what it’s like

I wonder if you can rub your head and pat your belly

isn’t that silly?

when I go out and I study the moon and I look and I wonder, I wonder how someone could say it’s just a projection in the sky

isn’t that silly?

and then when I step in and I study the Son and I look and I wonder, I wonder how someone could say that this is a reflection of I

isn’t that silly?

 

do you know who I am?

 

I don’t recognize myself sometimes, but I like who I’m becoming

and I feel like Somebody knew that I would

2.11.18

a quartet, and a question

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​ Last night, I performed my poetry for the first time. I’ve actually been writing for over five years, but my first true poem was about Cheerios (I’m easily inspired; don’t judge). Still, if you would’ve told me that I’d end up on stage, not singing with my a cappella group, not receiving an award, but reciting my poetry? I would’ve laughed in your face. For at least five years, that’s exactly what I did. I’d push back at every nudge towards a platform, nervous and nauseous at the thought of feeling so exposed. But growth is a never-ending journey, and last night, a new bud bloomed on the tree of my life.

Continue reading “a quartet, and a question”

1.22.17 – road trip

I can see the layers of the clouds

covering the sun

 

like me, surrounded by a shroud

like me, burning proud

 

I can see the trunks of the trees

covered by none

 

like me, bare and open

like me, strong and certain

 

I can see the rivers running past

covering rocks below

 

like me, fast and steady

like me, dark and heavy

 

and I can see the mountains

covered by none

 

like me, unmatched by all

like me, standing tall

 

1.22.17

1.18.17 – orchestra

time to tune up

why’s the pit so sparse?

you can’t make music if you don’t have heart

 

the show’s about to start

 

it should be a symphony

but the timpani, it’s not drumming

the conductor, when’s she coming?

 

and the audience

they expect you to perform

they expect to feel reborn

they expect

 

they lack respect

 

don’t feel so torn

 

the violins will be bright

bows dancing in the light

the boom of the bass will be just right

and it’ll all move in unison, what a sight

but the conductor, when’s she coming?

 

she’s the one who put it all together

the pieces, the piece, the peace

but she’s lost

it should all come together

but at what cost?

 

the show must go on

we must hear her song

 

1.18.17

12.15.16 – elite

don’t trip

everybody’s watching

 

head of the pack, on your pedestal

but no one’s gonna catch you if you fall

 

you can’t

not when everybody’s watching

what would they think?

 

it’s when they blink

that’s when you breathe

as they close, you can open

I know you’re tired of living for them

 

they take what you don’t give

they hate when it is how it is

 

but don’t trip

everybody’s watching

 

and that makes it worth it

I know you love your pedestal

 

12.15.16