I wrote this poem as a young man (about 21) after an unfortunate encounter on a bus. It prompted my one and only poem called Defiance. Seems to have come back to my mind during the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests.

(you can also listen to me deliver this poem on my podcast – The Great Speech Podcast)

DEFIANCE
 

 

To you, old man, yes you, old man
On the bus with your book
And your cold contemptuous look.

I’m younger than you
I’m stronger than you
I’m bigger than you
I’m longer than you.

I’m taller than you
I’m broader than you
I’m deeper than you
I’m further than you.

I’m sharper than you
I’m harder than you
I’m quicker than you
I’m smarter than you.

I’m wealthier than you
I’m healthier than you
I’m slicker than you, and
I’m sexier than you.

I’ve travelled more seas
Said more thank yous and pleases
I’ve opened more doors and suffered more wars
I’ve seen more starvation
Felt more indignation
From Tutsi to Haitian I’ve fought more than you.

My shadows are brighter than all of your dreams
My whispers are louder than all of your screams
My dances are richer
My history more bitter
My life so much grimmer for people like you.

Yet I’m nicer than you; I’m kinder than you
I’m sweeter than you, even riper than you.

More audacious than you, more vivacious than you
Enigmatic and more charismatic than you.

Through hoses and dogs I’ve been tried more than you
Diseases and drugs, I’ve survived more than you.
With deeds and with words, I’ve inspired more than you
Cos I’m higher than you and I’m wider than you.

Though I’ve faced inhumanity I’m humaner than you
And debased by insanity still I’m saner than you
I’m a child of your slavery yet I’m greater than you
Still I pray more for you, cos I’ve faith still in you.

I am louder and prouder and I’m fresher that’s true.
I am swifter and bolder and I’m more well to do.
I am jazzier and snazzier and I’m funnier and sunnier
And I’m branier and tastier and sincerer than you.

Above all I’m not what you think that you see
I do not smoke weed and I do not climb trees
Put simply I’m more than you ever could be
Yet all I want is Equality.

 

Kolarele Sonaike

 

p.s. I performed this poem on my podcast if you want to listen

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