Sunday, 3 April 2011

This Pen

by Jeni Hallam

With this pen, I will re-write history
Write history again
Ink and cursive flowing from my pen
I will re-write lessons from sad stories
And illustrate a world right before me
Which is painted in the colour of a future that's bright
Freakin' ultraviolet in fact!
And I will fly closer to the Sun that dear Icarus,
With not even a singed tip or tanned shoulder,
I'm not immortal, just bolder
And now that I'm older I will relinquish
My grip on my bucket of bitterness
And let it clatter to the ground spilling
Tears of betrayal, pain and harsh truths
And where I once used salty tears to lick wounds
I will sew stitches with golden thread and diamond tools
Mop my brow with liberty and wash my face in forgiveness' pools
Rise from the ashes with golden wings
Fire burning in my pen
So let me re-write my history
I am not that product of colonialism
A bastard of an unholy alliance
Born of the blood of slaves and the sweat of injustice
I am not lighter than a paper bag, neither does a pencil stay stuck in my hair
And still it does not it fall
A pencil never has been, never will be there
There was no fat mammy in my history, yessuh, naw-uh ma'am,
And I have never been and never will be, infact, never will you see
Your light skin temptress
swinging my hips to your tune of desire
No Creole Lady Marmalade
No whimpering black victim
Born of the hood and lived in
The corner of society, a pilgrim
Neither am I your token, or your passport to equality,
I am not a sign of diversity,
I am not the smiling black girl in the back of your government advert with an afro pom pom and white teeth
I echo India Arie, when I say I am not what my hair pertains to be;
Whether creamy crack slicked back, or stitches and tracks
I am beyond whatever you thought I stood for
Beyond whatever you think I will die for I am here,
I have lived
I am a story well-told, I am my words and my ink
I am my bond and my stamp
I am the here and the now and I am beyond
I reconfigure my existence with thought and with song
I am a history well-lived
I am a present given gift
I am a future, a twinkle, the horizon
Or simply,
The light, reflected off this fountain pen nib.

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