(I went to Morocco as a Moroccan I left reminded I was not)

Sophia shares a poem about the displacement she felt after visiting her mother’s homeland

I have always felt culturally isolated in England, in my home. I am not quite Arabic and not quite Jamaican and not quite British. I am reminded of these facts constantly. Navigating belonging in a world so static in its boundaries has been a challenge.  Upon visiting my mother’s homeland as an adult, I prepared myself for acceptance however my displacement followed me on my travels. This is a poem I wrote reflecting on these experiences.

(I went to Morocco as a Moroccan I left reminded I was not)

if the ants ceased to scurry

you would never know there was a hole present

one by one, like an army

they marched

from the crack in the wall

across the cold floor

to the fridge

I watched the ants

as my Senegalese twists were tugged

and pulled, by the handful

as words and phrases

were said by the mouthful

so sped

I forgot to understand

It didn’t hurt

but before it had been issued

I knew

the style wouldn’t suit me

It was made for straight hair soft hair silky hair

not my hair

instead of thinking too deeply about the oxymoron of my competing hair styles as a physical amalgamation of my internalised cultural dispute

I looked closely at the uniform ants

all aware of their place

along the cracked white tiles

I looked closer still

one wasn’t quite in line

Illustration by Jazz Thompson (www.instagram.com/jasmineshaniceart/)

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