Dreams of Brighter DaysMarch 30th, 2023 | BY a100voicesofus |
by Peace~Tolo the Wordsmith
I had to say something because most of the time, I’m barely saying much. Most of the time, I am
suffocating, swallowing my words because I do not want to offend anyone. I keep imagining coming
out to my mother. I foresee her collapsing or having a heart attack. The irony is that I know she
knows. It is that deep-seated disappointment and sadness she expresses on her aging face. It breaks my
heart, knowing I want to break free, tell her the truth but I’m also scared of what it will do to her. It’s
one thing to know the truth instinctively, it’s another to hear it come crashing from someone’s mouth.
The pressure and questions have been mounting up from her. Why don’t I have a boyfriend? When am
I getting married? When am I giving her grandchildren? With my back against the wall, my biggest
defence has always been how I want to develop myself and take care of her (which I genuinely do)
but Lord knows I want it all – a partner, union and maybe kids someday. It’s been the biggest battle of
my life, feeling like my own mother does not know me and neither do I know her because of this one
truth I cannot seem to tell her and I bury it with all these lies. Time is running out; neither of us are
getting any younger and I cannot help but feel this deep sadness of my mother not knowing the real
me. Her daughter is a lesbian. Her daughter loves this one girl. Her daughter is a provider. Her
daughter is a caring soul. Her daughter is a protector. Her daughter passionately writes poetry and
short stories with queer characters. I wish that is all she can hear and see when I unveil my mask.
Sometimes I feel like she’s the only person who sees through me even if she does not know the
secrets I hold in my silence. I wonder to myself if she would love me and my dark side. Her daughter
is all those amazing things, but she is far from pure. I wonder if she would see the raging anger in me,
my anger at the world, religion and the injustices all around us. Would she see how unforgiving I am
and embrace me in that moment, and tell me we can all learn to be better beings? Would she tell me
I’m worth it because despite many voices that have said the words to me, it was her voice I longed to
hear say that.
I think of this as my love letter to my mother because we never knew how to express our emotions
from the beginning. It is my hope that I will be brave enough one day to share it with her, along with
my other musings. I also wish she could also know the amazing queer people I have also met in this
life who are now family to me.
I wrote a piece about family and I feel it comes in many forms. Despite the harsh realities of being
part of the LGBTQI community in Zimbabwe, we still desperately cling onto the hope of things being
We laugh, we drink, as though for a moment, everything has always been alright.
I feel like faking a laugh, but the air is too pure for me to get away with it.
So I sit in silence, zooming out from the conversation,
Analysing each face in the room with borderline obsession.
I’m obsessed with the contours I call home.
Knowing we don’t have the same blood coursing through our veins
But the contour lines on our faces speak of the same terrain.
The ups get us so high, along with dreams we were told could never be our own,
We open a ‘new’ portal to our existence and travel through our imagination
To a future where we are financially independent,
Where we have faces of our children on dangling pendants,
And we are blessings to our parents
Not a dent on their purity.
In this moment,
We have drank a magic potion –
In these walls, we are a formidable kingdom
As we converse; imparting knowledge and wisdom,
We are each other’s keeper.
She is my sister.
They are my family.
Peace~Tolo the Wordsmith 2023©