they never knew me.

so many people made me feel like I left certain things behind,

like my home or my friends.

they would say I changed, or conformed.

but look at where I still call home.

the same place that I called home when I came into this world.

and some of those same people don’t want to claim home anymore.

what changed?

 

it’s clear to see.

 

they say I changed.

I used to feel bad or ashamed, as if they didn’t think I was different in the first place.

even to those I may have seen in the neighborhood on multiple occasions wonder

how I could be from such a place,

as if beauty doesn’t lie in the hood,

even in those that the world

doesn’t want to call beautiful.

the invisible.

the unloved.

……..

i’ve always felt that i’ve been caught up in a blend of worlds.

i’ve always felt out of place when i’ve been at home

unless I was at grandma’s house on Jett Street.

since granddaddy died,

I realized that home could

never be that way again.

crack & sickness.

hospital visits.

dialysis.

abuse.

regret.

…………..

I always felt like I was inauthentic to so many

but so real to myself.

then I realized that I had become

a scapegoat for others’ pain.

I began to wonder,

how could I have left home

or how could I be less Black

if I come from the same place that

you come from.

I was placed in a broken

situation

with the perfect kind of love

the perfect kind of sacrifice.

 

villages raised me.

 

I was kept from some

of the horrors,

and I did not tell of

some of the horrors

that I had been through.

 

my story had been unauthenticated,

and once again I had to try to find which

shelf I fit on,

in between what books.

 

then I realized that I don’t

have to force myself to

place a label on

my freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

shaunteris

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