To Yardstick

Little girl smiling

I am not afraid of you anymore
You breathed your last fire bomb ages ago
My feet fall fire hot on gold and copper ore

You watched me through the open door
Whacked and smelled of sulfur whenever I dared to glow
But I am not afraid of you anymore

You cut through anything I might adore
But I am still a brown girl in a ring of rainbow
My feet fall fire hot on gold and copper ore

Sometimes raised and seeming to roar
You chided my curiosity and welted my desire to grow
But I am not afraid of you anymore

I continued to read and count and explore
I pushed back against every inch with the mighty double ax of Shango
My feet fall fire hot on gold and copper ore

I have untangled and clipped the ends of your superiority lore
Reclaimed my moonlit mind that you tried to take as your own
I am not afraid of you anymore
My feet fall fire hot on gold and copper ore

2 responses to “To Yardstick”

  1. I don’t know what this is about, but it is powerful

    1. Thank you! It is about a Black girl’s relationship with schooling. My girl is recovering from being afraid of punishment in school because of things like adultification and teachers presuming her incompetent. She not only lands on her feet but finds that when she steps forward she makes something precious. She creates metallurgical magic. And she does all this with the support of ancestors across the diaspora I meant to add that with the refs to brown girl in the ring, Shango, and the sacred Black girl grooming rituals of untangling and end clipping. I was originally going to call it the Villain and the Villanelle but I’m not quite on the mark with the form yet. I’m editing. It’s a work in progress.

Leave a Reply