It’s 9/11 in South Africa
I am walking Lower main road with a weight on my chest, weighing on my shoulders, Wearing a heavy cloak of sorrow. Tears welling in my eyes, the lump growing in my throat, pushing against my breathing tubes..
I walked so far, I nearly missed my street, would’ve kept going if a man did not stop to ask, “sisi, are you alright?”. My mouth is dry and I couldnt speak. Even if I could force a voice, I would be at a lost for words. I push by and continue walking…
I look up just for a moment and I see, hanging over a balcony, red white and blue, stars and stripes and stripes and stars. But those stripes are not for me.. Red white and blue means more white, too much red and a whole lotta blues. I am black and I am blue and I am bruised. Flying high in the wind is a flag of a country I barely belong to. I cannot pledge allegiance to a nation, to which I never belonged.
I turn left onto Rochester Rd.Feet pounding the pavement ahead of me. They sounded like boys but they believed they were men. Running so they believed they were free. Change clinking in their pockets, they’ll be catching the next bus to town.. They’re running to the road.
One block away, still on Rochester, I was past young women laughing with their clicks as loud and vibrant as their laughter… They also are free, they are walking to the road.
Back toward that road, I hang my head in shame. I stare at the ground, weight on my chest, weighing on my shoulders, wearing a heavy, heavy cloak of sorrow. Shame because I cannot speak a mother tongue, only the language of the colonizer,
Shame to be an American.
Shame to represent a country that just elected a man who so unapologetically disregards human existence
I finally get to the black gate, turn the key in the lock, Tears welling in my eyes, the lump growing in my throat pushing against my breathing tubes.
I open the door, “Sis, are you ok?”