Blunted on Reality

A Still Nomads Exhibition

They banned our language, Afaan Oromo, for almost 100 years. My dad fled to the edge of the earth to escape his coloniser’s law and tongue. He found a safe-heaven. An island. A place, to think, feel and breathe in Oromo without fear. A place where he could teach this to his children too. 

She would slip through his fingers, and grow distant. A tragedy for him to find his youngest daughter subscribed to think, feel and breathe by the coloniser’s law and tongue of this island instead.

Many times I forget that English is not mine. It does not belong to me, and I don’t want it to, but I’ve grown so accustom to it. The way it wraps around my teeth and tongue, the way it fills my stomach, heart and mind. I need it to survive. It hurts trying to remember who I am,  finding my self suffocating and choking on bits of broken Afaan Oromo. 

Blunted on reality - in limbo between places I call home and who I want to be.

Inspired by Soreti Kadir and another poet whose name and poem and I cannot remember