dear black friend, i’m sorry

dear black friend, i’m sorry 

-manushri 

 

 dear black friend,

 

for far too long i never apologised to you

but today, i say, i’m sorry

i’m sorry if every time you walked back from school you didn’t know if the road you took would lead you home

or if there would be a home to return to

i’m sorry if you always felt you were breathing in borrowed air

as if you were taking up space that wasn’t yours

i’m sorry if you grew to fear your own skin, like its a weapon that destroys

i’m sorry if with every passing day, you felt foreign in your own country

as if your skin colour was a border you couldn’t cross,

where you felt

unsafe, and unheard

i’m sorry because we’re shades of the same pallet but i never understood your pain

i’m sorry i wasn’t someone you could call home

i’m sorry you loved this world even when it didn’t call you its own

 

-       a brown girl trying to understand where she went wrong