-These words are my own
I am a child of the diaspora.
without a home.
The home of my ancestors I cannot claim.
The home of my parents I do not know.
The home of my birth does not want me.
I am a stranger on stolen land.
Stolen land that writhes in pain from the blood of my ancestors spilt here.
But still I cannot call this land home.
A land built on the backs of those who look like me.
But still I have no home to lay my head.
Killed in the streets, killed in my home.
Killed for doing what’s right, killed for doing what’s wrong.
Our blood spilt pollutes the land
But still I cannot call this land mine.
I feel the weight of a thousand prayers resting on my back.
Prayers for change. Prayers that it won’t always be like this.
But it feels as though our prayers are falling on deaf ears.
Even the God whom we pray to is not familiar to us.
Taught to believe that our customs are less than because they are misunderstood.
But you’re understanding of me doesn’t change who I am.
A child of the diaspora.
Without a home,
But not without a people.
Our skin in so many shades of brown
And our hair curly and coiled to the sun
is instantly recognizable.
Though painful it might be to bear this crown
I wouldn’t ask to be anything
But what I am.
A child of the diaspora
With the strength of my ancestors behind me
And the hope of my children before me.
By Elizabeth DeHaan