On Identities


By deenprogress

From the moment of birth…
“It’s a Girl!”
Stay with us,
As we grow….
First-Born, Example-to-her-sibs.
Shaping us,
While malleable….
Smart; socially awkward; Bookworm.
Into Self.

We acquire some of our own…
Muslimah*, Munaqqabah*.
In this life of Meaning,
Relationships define us….
Mother, Daughter, Wife, Sister, Friend.

Yet, still, are those
Others seek to attach….
Generations-, Cultures-, Decades-thick
Truth, with her identical twin; Not-so-true
Who I should be.

These labels we wear, give, inherit, bequeath
Willingly, Unwittingly, Grudging, Proud
Burying the Human, Unique.

I peel; weary, wary
Affirming this, Rejecting that
Hoping, someday, to find; amidst it all;

“I write to tackle life from an African Muslim Woman’s perspective.” – the writer

16 thoughts on “On Identities

  1. This is a strong and thought-producing poem. We are given so many labels, it can be almost impossible to find our way through to our true self.
    And surely that should be the only label to wear, our Self.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed – to your last line.
      The truth is it can be difficult when others refuse to see beyond the labels. Or worse, you start equating your Self to the labels, even the ones you wholly embrace..
      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We can be many different things at various times in our lives. The most important thing is to refuse to accept any labels that don’t feel they fit the person you are now, no matter who or what you may have been, or have thought to have been in your past.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Right there is the essence of what I was trying to say. I’m glad the message translated. Thank yo for taking time to engage with me and my work.


  2. Reblogged this on I Write Her and commented:
    Discovered on The Drabble, a beautiful poem written from the perspective of an African Muslim Woman about identity and self-discovery. It’s written so honestly and yet so delicately. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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