Don’t Swallow My Name [freewriting]

Performed at Pen Powered Mic II on 1 August 2014.

Don’t swallow my name.
Don’t bite on the vowels
and spit out consonants
you feel should remain.
As though only a minute
part of me is worthy to linger
on the tip of your tongue;
the rest discarded to the land of the unwanted.

Don’t shorten my name.
My birthright was not given to be
dismantled upon the lips
of the receiver. Crucified unreligiously
to a ring that’s
palatable; manageable
as though my whole name
is too heavy to deal with;
a weight to be lightened and a
burden to be lifted.

Don’t anglo-ruin my name.
The melody is to be sung
not simply shoved upon an ear
that’s forced to listen.
Ola is wealth to be spoken
coined with Yinka for all it surrounds.
My parents crowned me a name
encompassing their vision;
not a seed to be recreated
in the image of others.

Don’t swallow my name.
Say it whole. Unshortened. Untainted.
And please don’t ask if you can call me something else
or if there’s another name I go by.
The answer is no.
Far too much wealth surrounds me
to be subtracted for the ease of your tongue.

© LaYinka Sanni, July 2014.


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