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Now I know why
Why they don’t celebrate my birthday
Or shower me with candy
Once annually
To appease their restlessness
In an attempt to cleanse
Their conscienceless wickedness.

Now I know why
Why on every eve
They are like thieves
Uneasy in their silence
The only exchange is that of glances
Or a regret of missed chances.

Now I know why
Why she can never look me in the eye
Without a tear
Or a sneer
Or an unsaid sigh
That brings me from a high
To a low
That only she and I

Now I know why
Why she vowed never again
To stand in line
At the pretence of democracy
To speak her mind
Through the silence of her vote.

Now I know why
Why I am light
And everyone around is dark
Why I am plump
And everyone else is slight
Why my teeth are white
And everyone else’s are not
Why they call me ‘Amani’
Yet every eye
That looks towards me
Recognises the traces of the enemy
Stamped all over me

Now I know why
Why 5 years later
I do not know the language of my father
Or the ways of his people
All I know
From muted mutterings
Is that he did something wrong.
Something so wrong to my mother
That even he cannot explain.

“God left me for a moment,”
So he says.

No one else believes him.
By default,
They await their turn
To avenge their daughter’s pain.

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