Spurred by our Editor Kate Nkansa Dwamena’s  Go Natural For Change hair challenge, I decided to share my own journey which started 13 April 2012; with a haircut. It was for different reasons, but primarily to challenge how I defined beauty for myself and for others. This poem was written just over a month ago to express just that… I tango with the mirror each morning A tug-of-war disguised as a dance. Skid marks like scars across the ballroom floor of my mind. But the mirror is an old hand at this And at the end of each day I find myself trapped: between my reflection and my shadow.   I am pseudo-Samson, The strength of my beauty lies in my hair These blow-dried locks like chains that weigh me down with your expectations, each strand printed with the truth of why we beautify ourselves- I want to be desired. And in that: 1-2-step 1-2-step Morse-code that our eyes tap against the mirror, Weaves, wigs, weights, wait- working out, Made-up. Made-down. The fringe of social perception Grows longer and we are blinded. So I decided to find sight at the end of a blade. It felt…like flying with your feet firmly on the ground. as my hands stuttered over my kroes hare like a child learning Braille, I began to see lines-   Like the Caesarean scar on my mother’s stomach That says, Siphokazi was here. The scar on my Saviour’s side that ensures my salvation The outlines of my stretch-marks The lifelines on my palms The outlines of my friend’s unchanged smiles when they see me, The outline of two people hugging In that split-second of becoming one with the guy you used to sorta, kinda like. The lines around my first degree that I did out of passion, The lines on pages that carry poetry on their shoulders. The outline of this microphone The lines in the Bible on my table that I really need to read more.   Their heads no longer turn when I walk. But I don’t care about being seen by the world. I have chosen to be invisible. In-visible With-in visibility of the ones I love more than these lines can describe. With-in visibility of my Creator who knows what makes me beautiful.   I still tango with the mirror each morning But at the end of our dance She nods her respect Because she can see the cracks on the pillars. This house is coming down. 1-2-…step.
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Siphokazi Jonas

Occupation: Under Construction I am a spoken word artist, subject to God the Word. I write about the world above me, the world around me and the world within me. I am learning that my poems must always be bigger than me if ever they are to mean anything.