My senga was lost to me in middle passage journey’s
Motherhood and marriage defined who I was meant to be.
The Wild in me conformed to societal ideals of femininity.
My mammaries grew full, for giving but never receiving,
learning to be seen but not heard
like the children produced in close procession.
The milk flowed over my belly, giving life to all and sundry.
In time I learnt this was not right, but I had no fight
I had died inside.
But the culture is strong, it confines me within a need to belong.
So I travelled across the sea to recreate my own identity.
I made mistakes, trusted in fakes.
Made new friends who sometimes cheated me,
smiling with the teeth but never with their eyes.
I took long to recognise, because me soulskin was lost to me.
I did the outrageous, created music, song and verse.
Inspired by the inner drive to find peace of mind.
Maturity can arise in time .
Lessons learnt through adversity bring strength.
The soul speaks, if we take the time to listen.
Visions flow freely leading us to the path of self determination.
Its for me to decide what it means to be woman.
This is what my Soulskin told me.
I found it beneath the layers of patriarchy
But I’m still struggling to put it on.
Ife Piankhi 2014