Starting a New Life on a Blank Canvas


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
of illustrating my own life

which colors shall i choose?
will they complement each other?
what if my brush strokes aren’t precise enough?

i’ve never designed my life

my old life
was a conglomeration
of artwork
from self-proclaimed illustrators
who meticulously drew images
that satisfied their desires

restricting me

i smile when they tell me
that I have a blank canvas

i also fear



Lakeya (Omogun) Afolalu, Ph.D.

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