I labelled us

Infancy talked to me various languages, switching
Tonalities for different melodies, to be learnt.
Naturally acquiring the discernment, recognising
Faces and voices to choose applicable native tongues.

English with my father, whose name echoed as Plato,
Iranian with my mother, Italian with my siblings, French
With school teachers, Greek on summer holidays.

Growing up my hair and accents, led to the inevitable
Repetitive question, ‘Where are you from?’
Timidly answered as it was hard to comprehend, until I set
Myself to do so untiringly drafting precious family trees.

Investigations interrogating relatives to exhaustion,
Ignited my pride for every single drop of blood,
Composing me and drawing borders
On geographical maps delineating my essence.

My story was one of many, they labelled me a multi-ethnic,

For my daddy’s naissance in Accra from a mulatto beauty
Queen, daughter of a British doctor and his Ghanaian lady friend.
For her husband, his Hellenic pater, son of Chios, born in Sudan.

For my mummy’s naissance in Tehran from a noble
Banker, progeny of the Qajar dynasty originally Turkic,
And his pure blood Persian wife.

My parents met in England were they studied only
To marry and move to pre-revolutionary Iran. I was born
In Rome where they fled, when insurrections began.

Now if someone asks I forcefully respond,
“From planet Earth. A terrestrial little sphere at the heart
Of its star system, on the edge of its galaxy lost
Somewhere in space in the maze of the Universe.

My story is one of many, I labelled us humans.

[Featured painting: The Legend by Romul Nutiu, 2011]


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