After I had rid myself
Of my father’s voice in my head
And my mother’s voice in my heart
And society’s voice in my ears
And fear’s voice in my throat
I stopped on a quiet morning
And listened to the sound of
My own voice
My own thoughts
My own intuition
My own will
My own way of seeing myself and seeing the world
And oh! How different it was
From what I had once thought was me.
Dazed in this silence
I looked and looked at me and me
Getting used to the sight … and feel… of me I
For it’s new when the mirror becomes an open window
Now I know why liberated birds hesitate before flying away
And why they take a while to get their bearing
And why they never return once they feel at home again in the wild.
– che chidi chukwumerije.