“We are the Children of Diaspora” by Anisa Nandaula

We are the Children of Diaspora

We are passports stamped with nightmares and PTSD at the airport.

We are broken tongues on the phone to our grandmother tasting homes we can’t go back to with every word we speak.

We are wombs giving birth to a new culture on graffitied walls when both homes deny us.

We are the children of warriors.

Carrying our lives in a suitcase with hands shaped like heaven’s doors (hands pressed together as if praying).

Speaking to Allah like “can we sell you our lives for a dream.”

“Why can’t we take our fathers with us?”

We are the ones who turn pain into purpose and use memories like razor blades.

Carve home into our palms.

I didn’t come to take your job.

We are the children of diaspora

Who understand the sacrifice of a mother.

It’s dying twice for your children.

First in the war you escaped and second from the demons that followed you across the border.

The eyes of Muhammad, Raziq, Shania and Dut don’t carry threats.

They carry passports.

We are the children of diaspora.

Mohammed Haneef we say doctor.

His skin says terrorist.

Changkuoth we say lawyer.

His skin says criminal.

Shiniva we say artist.

Her skin says trouble-maker.

But we swallow stereotypes like bullets and hang them around our necks.

Our spirits will not be gunned down.

We are the ones who are crawling out of earthquakes of confusion.

Filling the gaps in the ground with a diaspora whose existence gives birth to a new seed.

A new breed.

We are passports stamped with survival, greatness and hope at the airport.

We are your biggest fear.

We are migrants

Refugees

Asylum seekers.

We are the children of diaspora.

This is our story.


Anisa Nandaula is the 2016 Queensland poetry slam champion, the runner up Australian poetry slam champion and nationally renowned poet. This published poet has performed her work at festivals around the country such as the Queensland poetry festival, Townsville Multicultural festival, Women of the world festival and African Australian film festival. Her unique and captivating exploration of identity and politics has been showcased at the Sydney Opera house, Slama Lama ding dong in Melbourne and Adelaide writers center. Her combination performance, engaging use of language and profound ideas can capture the heart of any audience. She is a published author releasing her debut collection titled Melanin Garden. www.anisanandaula.com