From the Sea

Photo by Rikkia Walker

Photo by Rikkia Walker

The following is a creative piece.

A swab of my mouth
and I was given my history.
My past,
so unknown,
It said, you come from 
Sierra Leone. 
You are a bit Irish, Scottish, and Welsh.

you come from overseas,
an immigrant, nonetheless.
Although born on America’s soil,
do not expect to be treated the same.
Your history is who you are,
it is in your face and in your name.
Nigeria has never seen you.
So, it says it is not your home.
Sierra Leone does not recognize you.
And the British?
Well… they are not a choice.
History says that it was them
who helped take our identity away from us.

A few drops of blood,
and my identity was sealed.
I am now a citizen of the sea.
I do not like how it feels.

 Towards the end of my 13th year,
I moved in with a German man and a Finnish woman,
who now go by mom and dad.
Nothing is simple
and I still am unaware of who I am.
I have a map
with very crisp corners.
It is split by colors and has so much identity,
yet, none of it matters.
I follow the blue. 
I am from the sea.

My great-grandmother was born here.
She lived until 110.
In 1906,
she was born
on a white man’s land.

She talked about him kindly,
and said he was very kind.
Yet, history said it didn’t matter.
Black was black
and white was white.
And during that time,
there was us and then there was them.
And now I am a part of both,
and there is a constant battle within.

I am a citizen of the world.
A backpacker on a budget.
I am making my way everywhere.
Not stopping,
or conforming.
There is no interest anymore
to learn who exactly I am.

Just like the sea is ever changing,
And going every which way…
I am evolving,
following the unpredictability of the waves.
Allowing myself to be carried away.

Each place I go,
I expect nothing but looks.
They wonder where I am from
and so do I.
I do not crave citizenship.
I crave wisdom.
I crave a third eye.

The problem I now understand
is that people become consumed by where they stand.
As if to be African,
or American,
means anything at all.
Years ago, we did not know the others existed,
and now that we have found people like us,
we continuously focus on the differences.
What a miserable way to live.
What a terrible way to spend your time.
That is why I claim the blue.
It never leaves me behind.

The BiteRikkia Walker