You’ve got a blank canvas,
that’s what they keep telling me

they smile when they say it
some of them even laugh

i mirror their smiles back at them

but they don’t know
that my mine is forced
my laughter is too

and my stomach
twists into knots
at the mere thought



Photo: wundervisuals/Getty Images

i do not

the strength
of our mothers

of the women
who bore it all.

so gracefully
did they carry

our burdens
on their backs.

so beautifully
did they store

everyone’s tears
inside of their hearts



i do not wish
to be as strong

as they…



Lakeya Omogun, Ph.D.

Lakeya Omogun, Ph.D.

Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture | Writer | Speaker | Twitter @LakeyaOmogun