My sister always wore her hair in braids
She would weave them in straight lines
like static patterns
that should never be interrupted.
Her jawline was the perfect picture
Of unexpressed emotions,
Her eyes wells that never gave water,
Her smile, a semicircle of unspoken lies.
You would start to believe them,
If you stared too long.
I stared too long
I used to believe her braids stood
for tight grips of confidence,
and their curly edges, a wavy mixture of Grace.
Till the day Mama dragged her
into her room, and forced a confession
out of her swollen lips.
The girls in school bully her
They call her hair a thick forest of unworthiness.
They parade their straight flowing hair
like a trophy, or some crown
and convince her with every gait,
that her afro was a massive ball of shame.
So she pressed down her crown,
Submerged them in cornrows of woven slavery,
Then fixed a mask in front of her bruises.
I’ve never seen Mama so angry before,
She let loose her own hair
and let my sister stare at perfection.
I stood at the corner of the room
mouth open in wonder.
How the strength of curly authority can fill a room.
I watched my sister’s eyes open wide in awe as Mama showed her whose offspring she was.
Mama whispered “The girls in your school are beautiful too, crowns will always come in unique designs. It’s a pity their Mama never taught them to see beauty in another’s woman crown, but you, you will raise your head high loving your authority, and teaching the world to honour your beauty"
My Sister rarely wears braids these days
When she stepped out of her room this morning, Afros defying criticism,
Every fibre of my being bowed to her royal majesty.

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