A conversation between a prison guard and a prisoner (For Anj)

 

He tells me get back in.

I tell him I can't breathe in there. 

He tells me to man up.

Like manning up isn't all I've ever been told to do. 

Like my hard rock hands aren't proof that that's all I've ever done. 

Like my mother isn't man enough. 

He tells me to stop being a woman. 

Like woman is not all I've wanted to be. 

Tell me (For Shanelle)

Tell me I am too English to speak fluent Arabic,

or this tongue of mine is confused of it's identity.

You tell me, that this body of mine is fragile;

even though I carry it whole every day.

Tell me,

Tell me my fingers will forget how to write and then I won't have anything going for me, 

Tell me I am not Arab enough to be human,

Not human enough to be an Arab.

Tell me.

Go on, you know better than me...

Arab strength (For mOmhead)

My mothers feet flake off onto her bed every night,

She says she cleaned floors with bleach barefoot

Her hands are rock solid from kneeing dough for the family,

Her heart heavy but humble as she gets knocked off the ladder every time she tries,

Families that bitch and my mum still says salaam.

Arab strength of losing nephews to war but still smiling,

Losing a cousin to honour killing and trying to fight it

My mother is the definition of Arab strength,

My strength is British, nowhere near an Arab mothers. 

Pic N Mix (for Beatfreeks team)

She used to go into Woolworths and head straight to the pic'n'mix section.

Her mum wonders to the toiletries whilst she stuffs her mouth with sweets,

the guard asks if she's planning on buying any

She smiles and tells him to get out her way,

She takes out her notebook and writes 

"IOU" 

places it in each of the sweet boxed she's "borrowed off" and leaves.

Today, she's guilty because Woolworths closed down before she started earning

So she pays it back to Poundland and hopes for the best.

 

How to tell your mother you love her

By protecting her from the fists of your father
By helping her raise her younger sons as she gets older
By showing her with gifts every now and then
By shouting at her when she lets your father beat her
By taking her to the hospital in a country you don't know and trying to speak a language you have only learnt
By dragging her body down the stairs for help when she gives up
By not letting her give up.

Birminhum

Where I come from it rains a lot,

Where I come from the homeless get rained on a lot,

Where I come from buildings get plastered before our wounds do,

Where I come from the poets speak a lot,

Where I come from it doesn't snow at all,

Where I come from older voices get heard a lot,

Where I come from age = maturity

Where I am going is unknown

But I know, with my age I will come to know.