Unfurling Wonder by Sharon Matongo

I often talked to God
4am strewn across my bed sheets,
Atmosphere, reeking of disgrace; morning-breath the taste of shame,
And my limp prayers, they floundered out my mouth,
“Forgive me Father for I have sinned.
For I am inadequate.
An aberration.”
Thick like baobab roots whose longing for more
Broke through this surface,
Through this parched land.

Let him Picasso his hands over my body.
Un-touch me!
Finger prints on my inner thighs,
Let him sift me breathless, paint me impure.
Unhinge me!

I collapsed into the night, a young sinner.
Only eager to have her feet caress the rhinestone and marble of Parisian streets.
Could I find myself in Paris?

I was looking for love.

Found my uncharted land; that unplumbed sea,
And I immersed myself.
Soul full of longing, heart swathed in wanderlust,
I lost myself.

This sedentary lover of things, barefoot and searching,
Feet calloused from broken beer bottles and cracked open to remind me:
Young girl you walked the ends of the earth, and forgot yourself.
A mélange of wilderness and vacancy,
I had to repossess myself.

Last night I talked to God
Body, bowed down, Barak in surrender
“Redeem me.”
His grace is manifest in me.
I am filthy.
Gather the parts of me I lost in every city.
“Creator, reassemble me!”

In the rebuilding of a new me, I was reminded of this one thing:
A bitter-sweet truth I can only taste with my mother tongue,
“Pfawira ngoma, husiku hurefu.”
A Shona proverb my predecessors lived by,
Teaching me to be calm and take my time to do things.
I acknowledge that I am unfurling beauty.
Nappy hair, melanin and all.
That at times I am too much of a hurricane to handle
And on some days my storms cannot be contained
But I’ve washed away all dirt, and all the baggage is no more,
Take a look at this city of me.
I am victorious.

Ode, to the girl who was lost but is finally rediscovering herself.
You are a wonder,
The reflection of triumphant,
The definition of unsubdued,
The personification of unvanquished.
I say darling, remember this one thing:
You are enough.
And the universe, it longs for your love.
Your revolutionary, passionate love.






19 year old Sharon Matongo was born and raised in Mutare, Zimbabwe and is currently studying Law in Namibia. When she is not busy with legal school work, she is writing blog posts, reading novels or watching reruns of the Big Bang Theory. She is part of a group of young artists called Royal Integrity who share artwork that promotes the movement of self love and self-acceptance on their Instagram page @royal.integrity. Apart from that, she is also a contributing feminist blogger for Mercedes Parra Foundation where she focuses her opinionated work on the ideology of feminism in Africa. Her articles are available here www.parrafoundation.org/in-our-own-words.html

  1. This is amaizing! Keep the good work up Sharon.

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