Poem by San Francisco-based Blasian Hapa Poet Sabrena Taylor: Hair 2

Kathy Usami, daughter of unknown African American GI., with mother in Japan. Circa 1969. Photo by Colonel Rentmeester. Courtesy of Life.com

San Francisco Bay Area poet Sabrena Taylor, is of African-American, Japanese cultural background, with Native American roots as well.  Her poems traverse historical, political, mythological memory, addressing longing, social justice and healing:



(for Teresa Kay Williams Leon)

Our mothers tried their best to change our image

To press our hair

To relax our hair

                   As if hair was nervous

                   Hair would shout



My mother’s tongue I tried to cut with the knife of the tongue of

Children who didn’t understand my fair skin, my dark skin

Father’s tongue

Moon eyes

My hair cried

The one little curl society could not press and repress

My image refused to be oppressed

That one little curl stood out, shouted



Made waves and for that one little curl I give my deepest


For I am alive today as I will be alive tomorrow

Making waves of peace, love and justice

copyright 1994 Sabrena Taylor

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