Akwaaba (Welcome)

Sun, 10/16/2016 - 13:42 -- nl2018



Welcome, a feeling I can never have in my own home


A word, meaningless to me because people toss it around with abandon,

Then render it useless, less than great



I imagine, as a child of God, that the day I make it to heaven

The Lord will open his big, proud, papa-like arms shouting


For once I will feel welcomed, home, welcomed home

His eyes shining with love for his daughter,

Love not asked for, begged for, a love unconditional

Akwaaba! my Father would say, pulling me in tight

And everything I didn’t understand in this transitory life becomes clear,

Open, free, knowledge not for the taking but freely given

For my Father has welcomed me home and in my Father’s house everything is given, given with love




Stranger in my mother’s arms I hope that

One day I will feel welcome, six years since I’ve felt her touch

Two bodies, one coming from one, coming from none, separated, how can they rejoin?

When the flesh of her flesh has come home again, will it be welcome?

It is no longer the soft, innocent, naive pink it once was

But a multitude of colors over a scarred up beautiful body

Will I be welcome, different as I may be

Foreign, unknown, once hers now something she doesn’t know




What does it feel like to welcome someone into your heart,

Not merely let them take a tour

But the extended vacation, permanent, for life?

Will I ever be able to yell and shout, akwaaba!

Offering love and compassion to whoever walks by?

Will I ever be able to open up, lay my heart bare and

Whisper akwaaba to my secret loving place

This heart of mine that’s been through so much




Will my daddy ever be able to say that to me again,

Smile on his face, laughter in his eyes, me in his arms?

The day I finally open my soul

Will he shout and jump with joy, yelling akwaaba! for the whole world to hear,

Or will he shut me out, push me away,

Because sinners are not welcome here?

Akwaaba, I will say to him, look at me

Long lost daughter hiding in plain sight

Akwaaba, I will say to him,

but will he answer back?



Will the world welcome me the day I finally get tired of my

Blackness, queerness, intelligence, confidence, my pure existence

Annoying them?

A nuisance to the cause?

The fact that a professor at Temple said race before gender is not the only problem,

But the fact that he was a black brother makes it worse

My femininity is not a weakness, no less important, to be cast aside

Every aspect of my identity oppressed, the intersections refusing to rise together

Choosing to remain separate because one might bring the other down

We are all human, deserving of love

Deserving to be welcomed




Is that what we children of the night say to each other

before we blow each other’s brains out?

Bruised, black, bloody

When we welcome the younger generations into the this system of self-hatred and depreciation

We are hurting ourselves

Let our skin not be a welcome to violence but a good luck charm,

A sign of hope

A reminder that those before us were able to brave it through

So we will too



I whisper to myself, alone


Little girl, big heart, afraid


So many passions, fervently driven, but I need a minute

I need a minute to think, because

Because how can I love the world when I can’t love myself?

Can’t appreciate this body of mine, this heart of mine, this life of mine?

How can I welcome someone to the charred remains of a soul?

I try to take on the world but on my quest for solving world hunger I forgot

I forgot that I could not feed others if I have not fed myself


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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