Dear Tired Brown Girl I know you have run out of f**ks to give, but hold on Hold on for the other brown girls still yet to find their voice Still unsure of their place, unsure of this space That tells them they are not good enough, beautiful enough or strong enough That they are too loud, too proud, too brown, too tall, too short, Too smart, too fair, too poor, too rich, too boyish, too girly, Just too much and still not enough. Still never enough for them. Dear Tired Brown Girl, I can see your armor is heavy but carry on Carry on but sit down, let us take over for a while Let us fight because the battle is long and we got you We got you because you have had our backs every time Every time I heard you use your white voice so they wouldn’t feel threatened, Every time you shone bright so we could too, Every time you were so fierce that you reminded us of our strength Every time you were just too much and still not enough. Still never enough for them. Dear Tired Brown Girl, I can see you thought those words were empty but keep speaking Keep speaking because your words became a blaze. A blaze that burnt down the shroud of privilege so we could see the way. We can see the way now. It is an old path to our people, our strength and our own wisdom. It was here the whole time. It is an old path home. Home where there are no fences to limit us or doors to keep some of us out Home that combines the new and old, where there is a mutual exchange. Home where they are waiting for you to tell a part of the story. Where everything is in abundance but still not enough. Still never enough for them. Dear Tired Brown Girl, I heard them telling you that you were too powerful but power on Power on because like Maya said ‘we come as one but stand as ten thousand.’ We stand on the prayers and work of our parents, on the faith of our people, We stand in the struggle to have our voices heard and though they shall be blind And deaf to our pain, hurt and struggle, they will feel our strength and power. We no longer need their validation, their acceptance, their expertise or their opinion. We will consider it, deliberate on it but one day we won’t need it. They will overcompensate and we will say ‘thank you but we have enough.’ Dear Tired Brown Girl, I know its hard work and it seems fruitless but keep going Keep going because we have been trained for this for so long. Didn’t you realise, that although they educate us, we have exceeded their expectations. Now they no longer know how to use their language or religion to beat us into submission. We took both and used it to fuel the light to that old path That old path where WE remembered that secret language. I don’t know whether you remember, the elders always spoke 2 or 3 languages at least, Our native tongue, then English and the third with silence. Silence. We totally forgot. They are still trying to make sense of silence because it’s a language engrained into our soul that moves our body through spaces and places even before our mind catches up. The silence so loud that you have to avert your gaze because it’s a look that puts you in your place, and empowers you all the same. On that old path you helped us find, we heard that loud and deafening silence that only we could understand. That silence that asked us to repeat the message to you: Dear Child, yours is the power, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE ENOUGH! Dear Child, yours is the power, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE ENOUGH! Dear Child, yours is the power, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE ENOUGH!
Our Pasifika poet this week is Akanisi Nabalarua-Vakawaletabua. She is a lawyer by profession which she describes as what pays the bills, challenges her intellect and funds all manner of activities in her life (most recently poetry). Akanisi used to be a Lecturer in Law and attributes this to her low tolerance for mediocrity as she says life its too short to be basic and there is so much potential within our people. She adds, life is hard but if one makes sense of it with words, there is a ton of hope to keep going and room for everyone on the journey. **You can also watch her live performance at a Poetry Slam in Suva, Fiji here.