When they ask you how you are
don’t say fearful. Narrow your eyes and kiss your teeth but don’t say afraid.
Don’t say more scared and at sea in these latest days then ever before, or floundering. Don’t say lost without cause or that you’re not always sure you can make it.
Straighten that back
you are sex. Look like sex.
Wipe the blood from yourself.
Don’t tell them what went on when the sun was busy in another street.
Do that Thing The People do.
The people who are fine, fine, fine
until you get home and find them gone, gone gone.
Keep suffering because it’s your God Given right.
Brawl with your being. Fight the bad fight.
If they ask you how you are
don’t say stolen. Don’t say forgotten, passed over,
ignored. Don’t you dare say Orphan.
Don’t say beaten by the system
oppressed and disturbed
and don’t you dare say disappointed
don’t you dare say damaged.
Smile with all of your teeth, even the rotting ones.
Even the rotting ones.
'when they ask'
Yrsa Daley-Ward, ‘bone.’
now available at amazon.com