Fighting into the Night, for Light

by Dipo Baruwa-Etti

Three children, a gas bill of £300,
even with a heater permanently turned off –
praying away the cold in the winter months –
but

I will always fight
for the right to be myself,
light to shine on me.

Alone as I lounge in the tub,
moss growing on the ceiling as I stare through the water.
Another burden to carry in my backpack,
but

I will always fight
for the right to be myself,
light to shine on me.

I see many plodding through the terrain,
wonder who the doubles are and if I should fold my deck
since I’ve been lied to by many and hurt by those alike,
but

I will always fight
for the right to be myself,
light to shine on me.

I fall onto the concrete.
My knee bleeds, however, birthed with pads
(a foundation built by the past) my black doesn’t purple.
So I walk on and speak.

I will always fight
for the right to be myself,
light to shine on me.