Wemmy Ogunyankin: Stories of Home

"Home" has always been a confusing idea for me.  Is it the place I grew up?  The place I live now?  Where my family comes from?  Or is it in the people I love?  This poem was part of figuring out what home means to me.  I wrote this poem in one of Connected Worlds The Way I Flourish classes.

Wemmy as a child

Stories of Home

My journey started long before I was born
On a land with more colours than I’ve ever seen
The yellows, blues, oranges and greens
The sea, the sky, the endless trees and foot full of sand
The morning smell of eggs, gari and ogi
The feel and taste of agege bread
All day, every day back home
The flurry of deep colours of ankara
holding tight the hips of mamas back home
The yellows, blues, oranges and greens
The textures of a home that existed
long before me in my cherry Dr Martens.

Fast forward to Act Two,
in a city of more greys than I care to admit
More gates than space, unless you’re rich
But I saw its beauty in the community
Of the city I called home
Of the people I call home
With mum and dad working hard for a system they’re still new to
With young Black boys wearing more Nike and Adidas
And young Black girls wearing clothes to accentuate that big bum and hourglass
the body we wanted to have on the streets
with buildings that blocked the sun,

In a city that hid the yellows, blues, oranges and greens— they weren’t for everyone
Just if you’re rich, then you’ll see the sun
Here, I found colour in my green Dr Martens.

Fast forward to Act Three,
in a city with more yellows and greens
Ay up pal, with trees, rivers, sunshine
forests and dams
A burst of fresh air in my black Dr Martens…

Wemmy Ogunyankin

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