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Misplaced prayers (8/8) by Afeefa Omar

Afeefa Omar | April 17th, 2018 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

1) Holy is your intervention
Cut the skin over my ribcage
& cleanse the grief that
has nested there

2) Purge me of the guilt residing in my duct
I have hoarded regrets that are not mine

3) Teach me to be still without my eyes falling onto themselves
Some days light is an assault and the lids remind me of the
heaviness I have laundered
Absence is not your mother gauging you over a long distance call –
static and unstable connection –
It’s your inability to recognize yourself in the mirror

4) Confession:
Dear mother
I’ve watched the light in your eyes defuse over the years and
wondered why you could not see it yourself
Had I not been avoiding mirrors I would have known we are one
part of a reflection

5) I am sorry
I was glassy eyed over the collection of scattered memories and the
debt of unrequited love
You were fading and now I cannot tell you what I have found

6) Should I blame you for trying to make a home out of a country with
a noose around its neck.
For birthing haunted daughters
For never telling them that ghosts are inherited

7) Was the leaving out of love
Or survival
What will become of us when the answers visit

8) I am sorry
You fled the old country to give us a voice
& we left our tongues on the other side
Of the border

Poet Bio

Afeefa Omar is an East Afrikan poet and spoken word artist residing in Cape Town. Much of
her writing is born from navigating the physical and metaphorical borders between people.
She explores themes such as emotional censorship and ideas surrounding belonging,
otherness and identity. In 2017 she began sharing her work and was consecutively awarded
second place in the Cape Town poetry slam and first place in the Western Cape Current
state of poetry slam. In the same year she participated in various poetry programmes such
as the Naked word festival, Rioters In Session II and the Open Book Festival. She is
passionate about using poetry to challenge the boundaries imposed on narrative and to
reclaim the lost voice. Afeefa Omar is currently pursuing a BA degree in psychology at the
University of the Western Cape. She is also part of the C.Y.P.H.E.R youth programme under
Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement.

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