Solace in the Rain
Today I am standing underneath the acacia tree; surrounded by its fragrant aroma.
The people don’t know why I am standing there; I simply never explained why.
They just figure that this is what I do when it rains.
As both parents went out to work, I was brought up by my grandmother around the age of five.
After playing with friends she would always tell me that I was dirty, everything about me was dirty;
my clothes, my hands, my skin. She would strip me naked, taking the soiled clothes from my body, ushering me swiftly into the bathroom.
When I was ten I moved elsewhere with my parents. But deep inside I still felt dirty.
It seemed to become part of my identity.
Grandma had called me dirty more often than she had uttered my real name.
To me today I am still that dirty kid.
I wear an item of clothing and then it’s straight into the washing machine; never wearing anything more than once. I shower twice a day. Should someone nearby sniff then it must be me, I must be the smelly one.
That whole process starts again; shower and a change of clothes.
My humiliation and shame rise up from within; my emotions are swirling around inside.
My choice of colour for my clothes? Black. It hides the dirt from everyone.
Today I am hoping that the falling rain will wash away that dirt and that the fragrance from the acacia tree will gently cover me.