Friday, 23 October 2015

Sometimes silence is the loudest kind of noise - Bassey Ikpi

Sometimes silence is the loudest kind of noise
Like sometimes it was best when
Girls were girls and boys were boys.
Like back when freeze tag was a mating dance.
Like back when “Do Over” meant you got another chance.
Like back when anxiety was worrying if Wonder Woman would make it out alive.
Like back when freedom was sliding backwards on a slide.
Like back when success was jumping off a swing and
Landing on your feet, then
Doing it all over again.
Like new shoes made you run faster.
Like getting Ms. Gross again for math was a disaster.
Like failure was a word we hadn’t even learned to spell yet.
Like promises were sealed and kept with pinky bets.
Like a challenge was a double dare.
Like ugly was a cock-eyed stare.

And you liked it…
Like when you flipped your eyelids inside out
To impress that boy across the room,
‘Cause that’s all it took.
And there was no such thing as too soon,
As long as you checked the right box in that note from across the room,
The one that he…passed her.
Back when, “I don’t know, maybe” was a legitimate answer.
Back when, “I need space” meant he needed more elbow room to draw,
So he got on the floor and he coloured outside the lines.
Like the lines of colour were on the floor,

So we just existed in sandboxes and playgrounds.
And we hop-scotched and dodgeballed
And everything I needed to know, I learned in a shopping mall.
Like don’t wander off on your own,
Like know who you are,
Like know where you came from,
Like never let go of your mother’s hand no matter what you do,
Like if you get lost, just stand there until someone finds you,
And someone will always look for you
Because someone will always miss you
And someone will always find you
And when you cry, someone will always remind you
In that quiet, quiet lullaby voice,
That sometimes silence is the loudest kind of noise.

Bassey Ikpi (20th century) Nigeria

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