I Have Marley Twists in My Hair. [A Poem]

I have marley twists in my hair

more than just a tint of grey (or silver), long enough to almost be sat on,

full enough to cushion my skull

I have marley twists in my hair

a choice I made to aid my journey to God given afro curls through transitioning protection against the cold weather

I have marley twists in my hair

I have chosen not to wear a weave or wear a wig because as we all claim, I have a choice … to what I do with my hair

I have marley twists in my hair

I am seeking employment

My hair serves as either a hindrance or non existing factor to potential employment

I have marley twists in my hair

It could be seen as odd, intriguing, cool, scary… or most likely “unprofessional”

I have marley twists in my hair

installing them on this head wasn’t cheap and such labour is paid well in this part of the world

I have marley twists in my hair

it took me almost 12 hours to get them installed

That is 12 hours of sitting in a chair tossing my head and bending my neck

I cannot really explain the discomfort or pain, if you, because in all honesty,

growing up like I did, where cornrows according to weekly dictated hairstyles was a customary part of a young female’s education

I am very used to it

I have marley twists in my hair

I keep them clean and moisturised I keep it out of another’s personal space yes, It is important to do so

I have marley twists in my hair

an adulterated accent

light almond brown skin

My ancestors obviously are not from the land I was born and live in

I have marley twists in my hair

I am educated to a Masters level

I am qualified but my marley twists are not professional

I have marley twists in my hair

I do not intend to take them out soon but that decision threatens my chances of employment

I have marley twists in my hair

forgive me that beneath these twists are black strands and curls freeing themselves from your ideology of beauty

I have marley twists in my hair

forgive me that my hair doesn’t blow helplessly in the wind

forgive me it is not silky soft it is not light enough

forgive me that the conventional hair tie or hair spray are no match for the strength and thickness of my crown

I have marley twists in my hair

forgive me, it is intimidating your atmosphere of order and simplicity

forgive me, it only enhances my difference which threatens the uniformity eugenics tries to establish.

I have Marley twists in

deep honey brown skin

Afropolitan indeed and I assure you, an invaluable asset to any goddam company

I promise you, even though I ask for forgiveness

I have not an ounce of apology in my black soul for being this way and making my decisions

And to the one who enforces this ideology that I am not professional enough because of my hair…

Yet is expected to support me and teach me confidence in my individuality as the head of the primary unit of society

I really do thank you

Your lack of teaching, and permission to be ignorant victim of a system, is enough lesson learnt for me

Thank you

I understand that all you want is for me to live a normal life, in a place where I am considered not normal

But let me remind you

I’m good with not being normal

For as Dr Maya Angelou said, If I try to be normal, I will never know how amazing I am.

If they cannot see how amazing I am,

That’s their problem

Not mine.

I have marley twists in my hair, aren’t they beautiful?

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