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For you

You told me you got kicked out of class
And
I felt it too
The hurt from being isolated
For speaking out of turn

Or

Just being you
The pain you feel
Almost on a daily basis
From living in a country
That will always be racist

The guilt you feel
When you can't get nothing right
The energy you burn from having to fight
And defend yourself from a society
That tells you to stay quiet while punching you in your sleep
The anger eating your thoughts almost everyday and every night
The silence
When you walk into a room
To the violence
That consumes
The exhaustion from having to be awake

Just to get here
And listen to me

Haven't we all been there?
Well not really
I've learned our experience is rare
Only 3% of the national population
To be honest and fair
And not everyone is growing up here
Other kids don't have to worry about the stuff we go through
So extreme we laugh off and say sorry
Every time we speak of the pain
Cos it's just a little too unrelatable to their white privileged world
And the way that they continue to try and erase

You

Look at me stupid when I applaud you
Walking in and sitting down
This time is for you
I wanna take a minute to acknowledge you
And say good job
Just for being on time
And staying here

And staying in that line
That they keep you in

I know it gets rough
It doesn't seem like something I should be congratulating
But I know you had it tough
And I know how long you've been waiting
And getting agitated

To be heard

I know how important it is to walk with the strength of our old people
The pressures you have
But know that just the fact that you are alive makes them glad

Acknowledge them

Carry them with you everyday
Ask them for strength and guidance
In every way
I wish I learned that earlier
I was once there
Not giving a fuck
Coz shit has got you stuck up
On the idea that this is a waste of my time
Why does she talk in rhyme?
I hate this class
I wanna free my mind go have a smoke and play with my friends hair.
Bitch quit looking at me
Don't you know it ain't polite to stare!
Yeah thats me, like I said I been there...

Where your sitting
And I stood there

I'm standing here now cos I found a way to tell a story
Without sounding boring

I keep asking you to keep excavating
Keep exploring
Keep decolonising and
Keep storing

Cups of knowledge
Forever pouring
Out onto pages
Of whiteness
Never retaining

A single sentence
Uncomfortable quietness

And I know
How annoying it is
How much of a contradiction that is
I've been feeling this way since back in the day
I'm 29 years of age
And sorry to say
That nothing has changed
In fact it feels worse
I've been feeling your pain
And I'm putting you first
High beyond anyone can see
Tall and strong beyond belief
Dream up futures only we can achieve

Aim for the stars

Put in the work
And finish what you start
Embody that excellence
And be all you perceive it to be.
Stand up young black people
Your bloodlines have not survived 230 years
Of genocide just to wither and die and be complacent now
You are the revolution they sung up
Your laughter is their revenge
Your song is their hearts beating
And their love is a river that never meets its end.

Go to Lorna Munro's profile to read more poems

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Poem Audio

  • Lorna Munro reads 'For you'