By F.M. Daniel
"When you see an old woman, never ever laugh at her.
She was a girl just like you."
That was a nursery rhyme still embedded in my memory.
From the very beginning,
I had always been taught to not laugh at a situation that might seem gory.
No, not an old woman
That was a definite normality.
For the young know that they'll age.
Mama would always say never ever laugh at an abnormality
And my innocent little mind had felt that if I listened,
Then my body would face no physical malfunctioning.
Yet the blotches appeared on my skin
And the colour lightened
This wasn't a birthmark or a mole
The doctor confirmed no cure but assured a control
I became more susceptible to cancer, hearing loss, and iritis
And as this once melanin-rich skin of mine began to lose colour,
I vowed that I was going to combat this.
So I wore my skin and refused to be stripped of my smile.
Yet I see you shy away.
Like you did inwardly when that albino neighbor of yours passed
You shifted like you ran the risk of getting contaminated by me.
Well, this is Vitiligo
Why not add this to the list of non-contagious diseases you know?
So touch me; embrace me
This isn't leprosy.
How could you not see that?
You look so confused
You scream, 'it's not my portion'
But whose portion is it?
Who was designed to wake up to a life of social distress?
Whose pigment-producing cells were designed to dysfunction?
Whose portion is it...
To wake up to an aberrant change?
To be looked upon like dirt?
It's not yours, but it's neither mine
It's no one's lot.
When you see my tintless patched skin
Never ever laugh at me
I am human just like you.