Dear diaspora child by Cicely Belle Blain

Poem Title: dear diaspora child Poet Name: Cicely Belle Blain Poem: it’s ok if you only learned about your culture from Google  it’s ok if you only read your language at the public library  it’s ok if you need books to know your ancestral recipes  it’s ok if you’ve never even set foot on the soil of your people  it’s ok if your hips don’t sway to those rhythms  it’s ok if the food is too bitter for your tongue   it’s ok if English is the only language that flows freely from your mouth  it’s ok if your wardrobe is just jeans and tees  it’s ok if you only know Shakespeare  it’s ok if spice brings you fear instead of joy  it’s ok if you understand, but can’t reply  it’s ok if you dread the disappointed stares of aunties  it’s ok if small words like ‘Salaamaalekum’ fall from your tongue like broken bones  it’s ok if you spent your whole life shunning it all, only to now want it back  you no less worthy it is no less home End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Cicely Belle Blain Published in Burning Sugar, Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020  An ode to the children of immigrants, diaspora babies and those disconnected from their ancestors.   Cicely Belle Blain is a Black/mixed, queer femme from London now living on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. At the heart of their work, Cicely Belle harnesses their passion for justice, liberation and meaningful change via transformative education, always with laughter, and fearlessly in the face of resistance. They are noted for founding Black Lives Matter Vancouver and subsequently being listed as one of Vancouver magazine’s 50 most powerful people, BCBusiness magazine’s 30 under 30, and the CBC’s 150 Black women and non-binary people making change across Canada. They are now the CEO of Cicely Blain Consulting, a social justice-informed diversity and inclusion consulting company with over 100 clients across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Cicely Belle is an instructor in executive leadership at Simon Fraser University, a board member for the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and a dialogue associate at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Cicely Belle loves dinosaurs, Instagram, and YA fantasy. Burning Sugar is their first book.