by Rediet Wondwossen Delelegne, United World College Maastricht
29th June, 2020
I recently got into an accident,
one in which I hurt my knee.
No! One in which my soul was crushed
I was left with debris.
I had fallen from my bike.
I always seem to do,
for i am not a graceful creature.
A feature I cannot afford.
The concrete takes all
to its own accord.
It’s hard not to fall
With a head full of air
and optimistic ideals.
It was that God Damn Fluffy Hair!
It was in its nature to conceal
The danger was yet to be revealed.
Reckless as always
I took my turn too fast.
Went tumbling into a haze,
mistaking it for the image you cast.
This too i must forget,
for it couldn’t have been about race.
I am delusional like that.
Thank God! For my body.
My heavy body to anchor me to earth.
I guess it was my fault.
Damn! Why doesn’t that stop the hurt?
A sturdy African body which can
withstand the Dutch cold.
Cold for hours at a time.
It claimed the body I called mine.
And that Hair!
That covers my face
when the wind blows.
Strangers ignored my woes and
quickended their pace.
Again i guess it was wrong,
of me to pose.
As if i wasn’t dangerous
As if i wasn’t black and scary in the dark
As if I wasn’t a freathened girl in a painful situation.
My calls fell into a vacuum,
silent is the ring of a black youth.
Every dial overpowered my prayers.
Ploughing through me in perfect squares.
In each planting a seed of shame,
shame for expecting a 5 minute
drive from where i fell
to where I lay.
Miscommunication you called it?
Couldn’t you have checked up on me?
Subsequently you deleted my plea’s
from your voicemail machine.
I sat on that concrete block for 2 hours with my pulsing knee.
Does the duty phone only work for those who are lighter than me?
Damn, I never even got a formal apology.
I fell off my bike
I lost control to those
Who claimed my steering bars
Even when I thought I had gripped them.
Those with me tried to assist,
Two went ahead
One stayed in instead.
Yet my saviors failed to exist.
Savior like Christ
without a sense of time.
Time like the price
it was like them to play with my life
Rolling with their dice.
Next time, maybe i’ll get a lucky number.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Illustration by Ece Fisgin