Wealth surrounds me
but I’m not wealth itself.
The spot where my birthmark
lies breathes richness
too fine for their blind eyes.
An inhale of warmth
beneath blue skies and
buried treasures
intertwined amongst lies.

I’m from a monarch, a family of
a name well known. Prestigious.
Not the sort to be
thrown off its throne.
Of a tribe of chiefs
and lines of plump wives
and offspring
slaughtered by envious eyes.
He had 24, but only 10
are still alive. And the story goes that
I may not have been born alive.

A traditional day
When a woman’s face is an omen
and my mother’s abdomen
could very well have been
split open
right there
wealth would still surround me
because I’m from Africa
and her wealth runs within me.

I’m from Africa,
and her wealth breathes far
too deeply. She’s been hurt
and squandered
and lost her tears
to the sea.


My name’s a sweet melody
a song my mother sang
when her wombfruit was set free.
It was eleven months, just a
snippet of my history
and then, three days when she smiled

“Wealth surrounds me.”

And to this day
she still smiles

“Wealth surrounds me.”

© LaYinka Sanni, October 2012

Published in the January 2013 issue of SISTERS. The ‘tale’ behind this piece can be found here.


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