Home Culture Art Passport: A Poem by Siana Bangura

Passport: A Poem by Siana Bangura

0
Passport: A Poem by Siana Bangura

u_s_visaSouth ‪#‎Londoner‬ Siana Bangura’s poem called ‘Passport’ speaks on migration, identity, and childhood from a ‪#‎London‬ based ‪#‎African‬ and Sierra Leone infused perspective. Check it out here:

 

 


Do you know what a black hole looks like?

It’s a vast expanse

The type I always prayed to be engulfed by

The type of ocean I wished to jump into

And to sink, not swim

In.

You work hard to assimilate

That’s part of the plight of an immigrant

Short of scrubbing your colour off with wire sheets and bleach

You abandon your culture

And language

Close your ears when the Motherland speaks

You’re embarrassed by aunties who wear their Sunday bests

Out proudly

Lest we forget that they are African

Like you

Even though you want to forget

And pretend.

You’ve assimilated quite well

No longer a threat

Almost not an Other

Few traces left of your migration

History tied to a bonfire

Except for your passport

Apart from your skin

With its pigment and melanin

It is a reminder

When the school bus is held up at border control

All the other kids mumble and stare at you

In that moment you are not like them anymore

You are the child born in Sierra Leone.

The one you’ve buried deep inside of you

In your crisis of identity

You have stunted all that is good

Now the enclaves of your bones echo

And make a home for shrivelled weeds

As you try to go to sleep

The kids ask you if all Africans wash in mud

Or have to walk miles for water with buckets on their heads

They ask you why you too are not emaciated

They wonder why you don’t have an accent

Some make jokes about bananas

A few ask you about tropical storms and sand dunes.

You sink deeper into your seat

Which by now feels like a roasting hell pit.

Your passport is a pass to open doors

As well as the four walls of a prison cell

A Pandora’s box of memories and secrets.

A sign of the things you cannot tell.


Siana Bangura

I am a Sierra Leonean-born British writer, blogger, journalist, and spoken word performer. Hailing from London, I am the founder and editor of No Fly on the WALL, an Intersectional Feminist blog concentrating on the experiences of Black Women in the UK. I am the presenter of Versified Life, a socially conscious spoken word series, and I have worked with Channel 4, BBC Radio 1, Sky 1, Keo Films, and have written for The Guardian, The Times, Huffington Post, Vogue, Writers of Colour, and a host of others. I am a semi-finalist of the 2015 Roundhouse Poetry Slam and I am currently working on my first collection of poetry.
dontgotheresiana.com

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Leave a Reply

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend