Why We Hold Back

We hold back,

Because it is all we know, this is all new to us

Your stare makes my heart race faster than usual

Please stop

I can feel my cheeks go all tomato

Please stop

I can no longer pretend to look at that wall any longer

Please stop


We hold back,

Because it is safer

It is safer to know that I don’t have anyone to call

Or to call back

Someone to tell how my day was or how wonderful I felt from their morning texts


We hold back,

Because we are insecure

That you see other beautiful people everyday

They are prettier in their designer dresses and Italian suits

They catch your eyes and you forget about us

Our food-baby bellies and retro fashion

It is all in my head you whisper

But that’s why it’s scarier

Because I think I am not enough for you

But for myself alone


We hold back,

Because we are afraid

What if we fall deep in love?

And buy matching sneakers

What if I can’t live without you?

What if you get tired?

And you leave me with all your hoodies

Won’t you be cold?

What will I do then?

When I’m craving some hot chocolate

But I left all my mugs in your place

What will I do then?

When your smell still lingers on my skin

And your laughter keeps playing in my head

What will I do then?


We hold back,

Because we are comfortable

To this routine which is a bit selfish

But easier than the love you offer

It means I need to give you time

It means I need to give you what’s mine

To tell you what’s going on in my head

To share my duvet in my 4 by 6 bed

Maybe it’s not that bad, my heart whispers

It’s not bad it’s a tragedy, my brain reminds me


We hold back

Because we think that we are enough

That we need only ourselves

But why does your smile give me butterflies?

Why do your eyes have to be so beautiful?

Why do I hold onto you a little longer with each embrace?

This needs to stop, my brain whispers

This feels good for a change, my heart whispers


We hold back,

Because it is all we know, this is all new to us

Why are they being so nice?

He must want something, my brain whispers

What if that something is you? My heart whispers









Dear Mama

Mama I have watched you,

I have been watching you mama,

How do you do it?

How do you open your mouth and flood our hearts with kind words?

Despite our curt responses

How do you think the best about people?

Despite their incessant attempts to prove you wrong

I am in awe of the woman you were, the woman you are

And the woman you continue to become

Your heart takes too much, gives too much but never gets enough

I am sorry if I ever caused any ache in your heart, your beautiful heart mama

You are beautiful, you are wonderful, you are a woman, my mama

My woman

My everything

Goodness mama you are special

Because I know you mama, I believe God must be a woman

And with age I see the reasons why


Mama I am here to tell you that I have seen cruelty

Not from my fellow women mama, I will spare you that drama

From the man mama, the many I told you about

I lied mama, they did not treat me like a princess

They did not treat me the way papa treats you

They do not know I am the daughter of a Queen mama

They do not know that I was raised by a strong woman born of strong women

Mama they do not care, they did not care then, they do not care now


Mama as I scroll through the old pictures of the men who took a piece of me

I am shook

Do not correct my grammar mama, that is how we talk these days

I look at the pictures and I can see the flow chart of my mental illness

Do not laugh, this is a serious illness mama

You have not been honest with me, you never mentioned that I was sick

But papa has been a good example to me

I pray that I am healed


Mama do you remember the one with the good shoes?

Yes mama, the one who bought you the lovely tea-set

Mama that man’s behavior is similar to that of a cockroach

I am now convinced that they are related, he was rude mama

Not the rude you have seen but the nasty kind, the cockroach kind

He broke me down mama and told me I was not good enough, he disrespected me

In front of my friends mama

I was broken, I leaked that day mama, I lost a bit of me

That day mama you bought me a white dress and told me not to get any dirt on it

I had had enough of the man who bought you the good tea-set

I texted him mama

I told him I was not those dirty corners nasty cockroaches go to hide in

I am a snow white wall mama

He needed to find another dirty corner

Yes mama, I did that, I put him in his place


Mama do you remember the one who brought light in our home

Yes mama, the one who looked dashing in pink

Yes, yes mama the light skin man that had a kitenge shirt that matched my dress

He must belong to the devil’s squad

Why you ask

Mama he did not bring light but only darkness, he lied mama, he lied too much

I started thinking I was mad, obviously mad in love mama because I ate every lie

I became full when he attended a wedding wearing the kitenge shirt

No mama, I had no problem with the shirt

But that cow had another lady wearing the matching dress

My matching kitenge dress mama, he gave it to another woman

Yes mama, that is where it disappeared to

I saw a picture while snooping, don’t judge me mama, I was mad

I left him mama, but before leaving…

I soaked all his colorful shirts in bleach

Yes mama, even the kitenge shirt, he would need to do some shopping

And I left the water running in his house, he needed to clean up after himself

For the horrible mess he had left in my heart


Mama do you remember the tall one,

Yes mama, the shy one who ate more than he spoke

Mama that man should only deal with food

He did to me what you do to the chicken bones after you’re done eating

He tossed all my feelings and emotions in the trash

He told me he was the best thing to happen to me, I was unhappy mama

My heart grew tired because of him, I moved on without telling him mama

Too harsh? No mama

I ran into him in town the other day

I told him I had already found the best thing to ever happen to me



So you see mama I have had my share of cruelty

Your little princess is not always okay mama

Do not get me wrong mama, I have also met some good men


I am not saying that all men are trash

But some men know how to give garbage its true meaning

That said, I am proud that you are my mama

My phenomenal mama who has taught me to always see the good in people

Because of you I am not afraid to love

Thank you mama


Yes mama, I am fine

Yes, I am sure

No, I would not mind a kitenge dress that matches with yours and papa’s

Of course mama, I have to carry myself with poise

Calm and composed, that’s me

After all, I am the daughter of a Queen!








Let me get sensitive today. Shall we?

Do you sometimes feel like switching the off button on life? It is a thought that comes when you seem to be stuck in a rut, unending right? You want to be left alone, you want to stay in bed all day, you do not want to move. You just want to lay in your bed and let your sadness consume you, you want to understand it. That feeling overwhelms you and you are probably dehydrated from all the crying. The taste of that feeling is on the floor of your tongue. So damn bitter, you keep throwing up. You hate it.

Sometimes you want to succumb to the pressure and sit on your own and look into nothingness, that moment when someone looks at you and thinks that you are staring at the wall really hard but you are actually not even seeing the wall. You are in some sort of daze, it is like you are falling and nothing can bring you back, well at least for that moment. For that moment you cannot see past the darkness that is hovering over your life. You are convinced that a rainy cloud is above your head following you everywhere you go. You are convinced that that cloud is causing all the storms in your life. You want to slow things down. You want it to stop. It needs to stop because the burden is so heavy, because it hurts too much.

It hurts like a wound that keeps bleeding. A wound that bleeds so badly that no bandage can stop the blood from seeping through and staining the snow white cloth. That is how your life is lately. The feeling has seeped through your life, your friends, your school life, your job and your family. It hurts because people have started to notice, it hurts because some people ignore it. The more you have tried to understand it, the  more you become overwhelmed by it.

It hurts because uncle Sammy touched you ‘badly’ on your 10th birthday and told you, ‘This is our little secret’. It hurts because he still comes over to your house and acts like he did not rob you off your innocence. It hurts even more because mum and dad never asked you why you stopped visiting your favorite uncle. It hurts because it has been too many years of silence. The burden is getting heavy and it hurts because there is a little voice inside your head telling you to make it stop.

It hurts because you have never seen your father from the day you were born. It hurts because statistics say that a boy should have a male figure in their lives. It hurts because mum ignored the statistics. It hurts because your mum drinks all day long and calls you her little mistake. She gets drunk and reminds you that the condom broke. When she tells you that, there is that little voice again telling you to numb it all.

It hurts because you grew up thinking it is okay to hit girls. Why? Daddy does it and daddy is never wrong. You found out it was wrong when you had to say goodbye to mummy when she took her last breath from that stupid fight on ‘who threw my cigarettes away?’ The love of your life broke up with you. She thinks you will end up like daddy. It hurts because you believe her.

It hurts because they bullied you in high school. It hurts because your parents told you that that is a part of life. You reported the acts and got named the school snitch. The bullying did not stop until the bullies left. You just joined campus and the bullies are the leaders in the student board. It hurts because you are still are afraid of them.

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