Poetry by Lemuel Nortey


I become the walking idea
Of what you love,

And then I fall in love with
who I become for you,

Through the haze of it all
I see you try
Really try
to fix the broken parts
Of me I let you see,

Through the haze of it all
The me I let you see
Fell in love with you too,

Not long after,

I begin resenting who I become for you,

Soon I become the walking idea of what you hate,

There are too many broken
pieces of me scattered about,

I’m finding the teeny tiny bits of me
I’m threading it all together,

Like a million piece puzzle it’s all starting to make sense now,

Your touch, your smile,
those swallowed complaints,

I hear you now,

Long before that word, love

made meaning to me
You had hoped them for me,

Long before I learned feel it

and say it back,

You had decided to see me
If only….I could too.

I was only 10.

I was only 10.

I was only 10 but my brain should have known better,
I was only 10, so my guilt at 30 should know better,
I was only 10 and my grandmother should have known better.

The strangers with clubs came to the house,
I had heard strange things, they ate snakes, they ate dogs

Maxine was my dog but she knew better,
She hid from the strangers
She could tell,
She would only come to me,

So when grannie said to, I called for her,
And she came, with trust in its eyes,

In a flurry, I knew what I should have known
The stranger’s clubs were for its head,
It’s now bloodied body a meal for the strangers’ belly

I was only 10,
And it was too soon to know betrayal.


Lemuel Nortey – 2021

Lemuel Nortey is still discovering himself. Find him on twitter @nanaklems and Instagram @st_nanaklems