Forgiving My Father’s Country, A Poem from the Eritrean Diaspora

Asmara is the man I avoided seeing for fifteen years. My mother once tried setting us up during summers when all the other women wanted to see him.

Though I held off seeing him for years because Asmara did not like Black girls with White American accents and big waists. He preferred a slim jim and tongue twisters.

Asmara, also, kept my family away from me. He was a good dresser and wore light shades of pink, green, orange and other pastels. He was respectable and loving of all religions and ethnicties, but my family could not break the chain on their feet. They could not escape him. So I resented Asmara from keeping us apart. And I always wanted to ask why.

Why am I not given the same respect to be with them. I shouldn’t have to pay the costs.

Not when love is the only thing I can afford these days.

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