#IAmNotACostume

B29379BD-3F9A-42A4-95A8-1ADE2686A02FI’ve worn disguises in shame of my own flesh and blood,

And masks while I laughed at jokes at my expense

Making me uncomfortable

in my own skin.

I’ve undressed myself of strength to fit in with the same society

Who taught me it was okay for others to use and abuse me—

Mentally, Emotionally and Physically—

to sexualize my body.

I was stripped of pride and mocked by “Indians” dancing around me

Until naked, crippled and breathless with only a fragment of spirit left

And nothing but burning flesh

to comfort me.

It was then, in my time of need, my ancestors came to me,

Reminding me of my dignity, dressing me in their resilience

And cloaking me in our traditions;

sharing supernatural gifts.

I wasn’t wearing shoes but I felt Mother Earth beneath my feet,

Just enough to stand my ground and wear my culture proudly.

The wind entered my lungs and I yelled,

my spirit talking loud:

I AM SO MUCH MORE THAN THIS

I DESERVE RESPECT AND JUSTICE

WHO I AM IS MY RESISTANCE

I AM NOT A COSTUME!

 

 

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