I am more than my hair

As a black child growing up in the 90’s they said I was lucky because my hair was long,
when I cut it they said my beauty was gone 
They also said my ‘bird legs’ needed meat
When on holiday they said the sun would turn my lips black, I should protect them from the 
heat 

Flamingo was my name
Skinny but with striking long hair 
it’s all they saw, not the rise to my fall or all them closed doors and them closing in walls

Some long days and summer nights 
I stayed awake preparing to fight
Throwing away all my fears and getting rid of the never ending fright 

Through my ambitions and losing my inhibitions 
I made my life alright
Do not judge me, for you do not know what I have been through as I stand before you in this 
light

I am more than my hair 
In my shoes I have stumbled and walked 
With my mouth I have prayed and talked 

I have visions of my missions and I know he listens 
As I aim to accomplish my dreams, I dream of a life of freedom 
where my pain will be eased and my family and friends will know peace
and where I will mean more than my skin colour 
and where I will mean more than my hair

Jemelia Moseley

Jemelia’s poem ‘United’ has been published in ‘The Fly On The Wall‘ Magazine in September 2020, her other poems; ‘Grandma and Grandad’ and ‘Protests’ have also been published in September in a Journal (Chambers) in Scotland, England. Black, Dying to bloom and Visions of possibilities have been published in The Melbourne Culture Centre (Australia) in October 2020. Yesterday will be published in  Morepork Press (New Zealand) in October also. The Daily Drunk Mag (USA) and Saccharine Poetry has also recently published her work. Jemelia has more work forthcoming in other magazines and journals and has recently had her chapbook ‘Love, Joy, Tears, Beers and Poetry’ published.