Syd Leilani: “My Thirsty Roots”

My Thirsty Roots

One, Two, Three
who are fearful about going on their knees
did he get pulled over because of the law?
Or simply for the bigger crime that was inevitable of thee?
Black history, is this me?

I had no control over what I was being born into,
yet if I was given a choice to try again
I would still pick the same shoes,
the same clothes,
the same eyes,
and family…
in this case, my skin defines me

the embedded black history scares me
even though I’m a black woman
American history is far beyond my cup of tea
I’m just unsure where to find the truth of my history
because I know it didn’t begin with the fact of slavery.

I’ve never appreciated my ancestors’ glory
and the strength behind their untold stories
the constant battles they’ve fought
with all of those insecurities it brought
to my thirsty roots,
I’m sorry…

But is it my fault,
for never embracing a side of me
that was ever taught
searching for black history seems negligible
because as the history books began
the choice of slavery can appear questionable.

How can I explain to my future children
what’s in store for them?
When every time we expect a change
history itself repeats
causing lives to once again rearrange,
so why complain about this,
when this, is America.

To my thirsty roots,
I’m sorry
for the centuries of pain and agony
you had to endure
for the tears, you cried
when brothers were being lost left to right,
I’m sorry.

To my actual roots,
I’m sorry…
for always combing through your curls
and never embracing your length
it seems as if society put you as a stereotype
for being ugly and unmanageable
the straighter you were made me more fashionable

One, Two, Three
To my thirsty roots,
I’m sorry.

What are you looking for?