Binta Jalloh is a young American poet. Her verses reflect the pains and doubts of humankind, and the constant search for answers and signals that show us our value. Her poems "Trailblazer" and "Life and Death" are a reminder that as long as we keep in mind that we are not alone in the search, there will always be hope.
I’ve been given a hoe to dig and carve a path that many will not dare be the first to tread
As I dig my way through this path, oh my, what hidden secrets, bounded chains and yoke,
ignorant traditions and belief systems, generations missing and untapped destinies.
Oh my, it's as though I’m an archaeologists digging for treasure.
But as I dig my way through, I’m encountering self-discoveries that will not only change
the course of my life, but the ones coming behind me as well.
Some are given an option to dig through the trenches of their history and generations.
But for me, see, for me it was a written mandate attached to my purpose and destiny
even before the womb of my mother prepared itself for my arrival.
It is an assignment, even if I try to escape from it,
the God above will not permit me to do so.
For my spirit wants to ride out this purpose of mine;
but my flesh, oh, my weak, sinful,
compromising flesh just wants to give in and wait for the next person
born into my lineage to carry out this mandate.
As I dig I’m shifting and going against traditions,
religion, beliefs, culture, family, norms and more.
I’m causing many that are around me to be quiet uncomfortable.
And it is pissing them off; because as I dig and delve deeper,
I strike a root and a revelation.
And who I truly am, the God-made Binta, manifests itself.
Yet those around me can’t seem to handle the metamorphosis that’s transpiring
not only within but externally as well.
As I dig I hit the roots of things
that will cause one to shudder at the discovery and sight of it.
Yet on the other side of that is my destiny and purpose
patiently awaiting for me to walk into it.
Purpose and destiny of mine mandated from the courts and realms of heaven,
receive your rightful owner, Binta.
LIFE AND DEATH
I feel as though I’m crawling my way in a pitch black building or a room to be precise.
To the point where my eyes have become acquainted to the darkness.
There is this urge, a deadly one, where your whole being and existence banks on it.
To see a light; even in the shape of a dot.
As I crawl my whole being is crying out to just see the light.
Yet I see none; it is one of the most gut-wrenching scary places to be in life.
Doubts, thoughts, confusion, lies, past abuse, past life,
brokenness all are flooding through my mind.
You are all alone and is as though you are going mad.
Your insides are screaming out, somebody help me, anybody.
And in that moment, if you have ever wondered if there’s a God,
He crosses your mind.
Your spirit calls out to Him in desperation.
Desperation is a deadly place to be
but desperation can also send you into your destiny or the grave.
And I wonder, will I ever see the light as I crawl through the dark looking for a glimpse of light?
Photos by Melania Brescia.