I Fell off My Bike


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thank God! For my body.

My heavy body to anchor me to earth.

I guess it was my fault.

Im sorry.

Damn! Why doesn’t that stop the hurt?

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A sturdy African body which can

withstand the Dutch cold.

Cold for hours at a time.

It claimed the body I called mine.

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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.

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As if………..

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As if i wasn’t  dangerous

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As if i wasn’t black and scary in the dark

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As if I wasn’t a freathened girl in a painful situation.

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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.

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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. 

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I fell off my bike

I lost control to those

Who claimed my steering bars

Even when I thought I had gripped them.

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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.

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Next time, maybe i’ll get a lucky number.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

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ረድ። (Red)

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Illustration by Ece Fisgin

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