Featured Poem of the Week

Zuva

Zuva is one of our newest contributors to A Cornered Gurl and she comes to the publication with strength, power, brutal honesty, and “black excellence” in her bones. I love reading this young one and she decided to answer the “Young Minds of Medium Inspiration Call” with the following piece entitled: The Making of a Government Manifesto–Erasure Piece. At nearly twenty-three years old, Zuva is already making waves with her work and if you are in her way, you will be moved. And now, for her poem as our featured work for the week:


Photo by Rosemary Ketchum from Pexels

The Making of a Government Manifesto–Erasure Piece.

Immigrants are “stealing your jobs” but really it’s machines

A homeless man asks me for change, the world is contactless now

Education is free when it protects and promotes government agenda

Does the voice of oppressors get silenced or do they learn how to whisper and

pass secret notes?

men are taught to hate feminists when we want to help them too. Nothing changes

Obesity is a money-making industry,

that’s why salads ain’t cheap

They’re crippling our NHS to privatisation

This is how it’s meant to be

Trump is to cause divide

And illustrate your rights still don’t matter

People are gunned down for being people

Children are shot then and called victims


*It is very easy to look at the world and just see the negative. But when you look again you can find and create hope.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

The Battles We Create For Ourselves

Are The Ones That Break Us

TreGranny
Left: My paternal grandmother at age 37. Right: Me at age 37.

By design, we are all different yet beautiful. Coming out is teaching me what unconditional love is. What life outside of a box feels like. The more I share with my family and friends, the more I am finding out, “but you know I knew that already, right?” And no, I had no idea my family knew the inner-workings of my heart, of my soul. I am rather private. For the most part, I keep to myself. I am significantly older than all of my siblings, so much of what I experienced growing up, they did not.

They looked up to me, yes, I knew that. But, I did not know how closely they were watching me. According to my brother TJ upon me asking, “When did you think you knew?”

“I don’t mean no disrespect sis, but I knew when I was little. I mean, I ain’t never really seen you with no boyfriends except that one dude that everybody liked. I thought, maybe my sister likes women. And then later, when you started dating that bald-headed guy like three years ago, I thought — oh, my sister still likes men. I see no difference in you, sis. I’m gonna love you anyway.

To this, I laughed. I am nine years older than TJ. He and I are quite close. Most people say, he looks a lot like me and really, I think that as well. Most of us have strong features that link up, however, I am told he and our kid sister looks most like me. I found his comment the best way of his expression. Of how he began thinking his big sister was not heterosexual. He has a big heart too and is sensitive in ways that my other brothers are not. As a toddler, he was one who would cry at the drop of a hat. I knew then that he would sincerely be connected to his emotions, unafraid to share, or one willing to listen when listening is of the utmost importance. I was hoping I would be right.

TjandTre
TJ & I.

I Am Right In My Assessment.

I know there will be hills that I will ache from climbing, someone will voice their opinion, will Bible-thump me with scriptures they have twisted to fit their model of beliefs and display not one modicum of common sense, but I am in a position to not let that keep me from being me. I have no control over the thoughts of others and my journey into this new life is not the responsibility of anyone but my own. I am tired of limiting myself to being with who I want when I want, yet “in the dark,” cut-off from everyone else. I am tired of waving happiness away because of a way of life that most of my religious upbringing planned for me.

I Never Fit Into That Box

So, why was I constantly trying to keep myself there? I created a war within me. The battles I fought needed heavy armor and up against myself, I was not winning. I was only breaking and withering away. A revelation hit me, that caused me to say, “You know what? You want to be happy, be who you are. Do not think about it, Tre, just do it.” And after that moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of FINALLY! My heart slowed down its beating. I could breathe better.

Cousin, I believe this is gonna help you so much in relieving the depression and anxiety you have been dealing with for years. You are learning that it is okay to be you.” ©Akua

And it is okay to fully be me. I have made a pact with myself. A personal declaration that I intend to stand by, to etch into my skin. I will make my life easier by being who I am and nothing more. I looked at myself in the mirror and declared that. I meant it.

I Am Focused.

I carry the strength of powerful women in my bones, women who will cut you with their eyes then tell you to get over it without a trimmer in their voice. Women who have been fighting for me without my knowledge. Women who will look you in your eyes and tell you while they stand on flat feet and shiftless legs, “you’re lying.” A long line of women who have stepped forward and said,

“You better be who you are while you still can.”

I Will.

Just bees and things and flowers
Just bees and things and flowers
Just bees and things and flowers
My life. My Life. My life. My Life
In the sunshine
Everybody loves the sunshine.


Originally published in Other Doors via Medium.