To be a Black Woman

To be a black woman is to sit at the bottom of the barrel

Difficult and callous

Like your natural hair

No one can run their hands through it, through you.

Hurt and hurtful

You remind these men of what is means to be black

No gleeful giggles of ignorance

And wonder at ‘black culture.’

Your skin twirling like clay on the potter’s wheel

Reminds of slavery

And hardship

And racism

Of the crime to being born black

Sifted by that divide black, white

Good, bad.

No one sees the hues and nuances.

And because of that,

Because you’re the color of earth

He would not look you in the eye

And he would not love you.

And your wretched pleas to be held by hands

That would not break you

Falls to the ears of a silhouette turned away from you.

About the Poet

Temi Iwalaiye is a lawyer and a writer. She regularly tries to unravel how to be human, alive, and happy.

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