Weeping clouds

weeping clouds
By Amira Ali

On the hazy open road
Migrant’s journey under one sky
Clasping suitcases
Full of unspoken longings
Inner complexities
Memories and dreams

And in the orphaned life
Making the best of burdens
In spite of the dead
Whose absence trail the living
In spite of events that split open the sky
And crack the grounds
Resiliently spirited
Migrants survive
Under weeping clouds
Through tough terrains
Of xenophobic attacks
Ruffled skirts and names
With hopes of unfurling tongues
Unravelling fears
Holding onto faith that one day

They
We
All
Will chant, “We know you. We see you.
I am in you like you are in me.
I am you like you are me.”

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Cuz He’s Black

“I’m more human than hero”
“We’re treated as a problem way before we’re treated as human….”

Stupid ?’s

I’m told there is no such thing as a stupid question-only inquisitive idiots. But I’d rather call a question stupid than an idiot inquisitive. Just playing. But really, as hard as it is, I think it’s important to differentiate between the person and the action. So let’s call the question, rather than the questioner stupid.

Being naturally inquisitive myself, I understand the urge to and value of incessantly asking questions-and I think there’s nothing wrong with that. That is how we learn and grow. And sometimes it’s the questions that no-one is comfortable asking that needs to be asked & answered. Sometimes, however, the nature of the questions can only be classified in that category previously mentioned (I’m suddenly feeling shy about using the term, but really truth is truth so let’s call it what it is: S-T-U-P-I-D! Am I being too harsh?)

So in my short and humble life, I’ve come across many stupid questions. Here are a few-feel free to add your own.

  1. What’s the difference between Jamaica & Africa?  Umm….where do I start??
  2. You’re not really African, are you? I know this doesn’t sound so bad, but this is after the questioner knows I’m from Ethiopia. It’s not a question of whether I consider myself or not, it is what it is. Last I checked, Ethiopia was securely within the confines of what we ‘consider’ to be Africa.
  3. Do you consider yourself black? Again, It’s not a question of what I consider myself, I am what I am.
  4. How come you’re not starving? I suppose as an Ethiopian, I am not licensed not to starve.
  5. Do you travel to school on the back of a lion? I wish.
  6. Did you swim across the Atlantic to get here? That is how I got from Africa to the Americas.
  7. Are you Muslim? Again, this might not seem silly. But I proudly wear Islam on my head. ie. I wear a hijab (head scarf…). And if I excuse this from non-Muslims I come across, what of my fellow Muslims?? Really?!

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