I stare out through the dirty panes
high up, looking down at my world
I look out to desolation, children playing on the roads,
the cold hungry stares of the disadvantaged,
to the superficiality of being human,
Born in a society, shackled due to the mandates of segregation,
due to the colour of their alabastar skin,
living and working where you are treated a lesser human
as God chose to use a darker colour for your skin
Walking up and down the stairways of humiliation
to a toilet not fit for humans in my pregnancy,
taking on more responsibilities only to
earn less than a light coloured skin
it is not right, but suck it in and know your place
as the whip cracks on relentlessly
Conformity is not a gift I was blessed with
being a mindless sheep bowing down to
a pigmentless skin is not why I was born
Defiance burns as coal in my stares,
in my soul, for I have marched, I have protested against inequity
I will fight until the shackles of segregation are forever removed
for we are Human, it is our Right!
On a rainy cold Friday night, I make my way to the hospital
A barrage of questions ensues, 'Do we save her or the baby?'
Still lucid, I plead in supplication, 'Save my baby, I give up my life for hers'
Birth of Democracy was being celebrated, as I watched Mandela
being released from prison, elation breaks out in the hallways
with melodious rapture as they sway with shackles on
I await our first meeting, filled with distress
'Why did I bring a child into this world to be ensalved based on skin colour?'
I gazed in wonder at her – spikey hair, rosy cheeks and flawless skin
looking into her eyes, seeing the birth of freedom
holding hope in my arms,
to break the qualms of the shackles
that have imprisoned my mind
with her hungry shrieks.
I looked out my window and saw a rainbow;
a covenant made by my people, 'The Rainbow Nation',
never to segregate based on the colour of your skin
Freedom was at last born.
God Bless the People of South Africa!
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Born in South Africa, living during pre-apartheid and post apartheid era