How to be Daughtered


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Ugonna-Ora Owoh is a poet and Journalist from Nigeria. His works has appeared in Teen Vogue, Vogue Business, Independent and others. Find him on twitter @ugonnaoraowoh  [+]

Image of Short Circuit #03

In the country of your birth,
you learn to call redeemer,
to call magician, to call the
code HELP,
in a tongue that your father
was never fathered in.

You learn fear is not enough to
nurse submission.
Your mother names
you without consent,
burns your father’s tongue—
before giving you the sort of strength
August children are born with.

How do you dream of a 
place you never remember? 
You have dreams that are surreal— 
dreams about grandparents 
who crossed the Sahara as Bedouins.
Their black skins splintered into brown. 

Remember you are not the daughter your 
mother wished to have—
Daughter with chocolate skin, oiled scalp,
daughter whom God has no photograph of.
Who houses a language in a
body that is too foreign.

Your mother's prayer 
is for you to be a better mother.
To daughter your daughters
better than you are daughtered.

You might not bother 
shaking off the war in you.

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