Two women, two sisters


I am a queen among Jamaican women,
I wear a crown –
Coiled ropes of woolly hair
Knotted into regal dreadlocks.
They attract glances and cat calls
Stiffened my backbone,
Proclaimed my identity,
Given me protection,
Made me free.

My sister wears a hijab
A silken headscarf
Worn to work and play.
She tells me that it too draws glances; with questions.
But that this has strengthened her resolve,
Asserted her Self,
Lent her courage,
Liberated her.

I am not a Rastafari.
Yet I have trespassed at will
on another’s religious symbolism.
Used it without understanding
my own Nazarene vow.
Worn for fashion,
it has percolated into my soul as
I revel that I have become an empress.

Who am I to pity my sister?
I understand nothing about her faith
So, I cling, though no longer blindly, to ignorance.
Unlike me, she plays no games with God or men.
I admire her resolute certainty
that Western ways are empty, unfulfilling,
For somehow, she has a conviction in her identity that I lack.
So now, two women, sisters, regard each other across the divide –
with suspicious understanding.


Photo credit: Thanks to my sister, Dianne, one of the most persistent women whom I know.  She refused to allow me to use any of my selfie  shots for my conference brochure appearance in July 2013.  God bless her; I like this portrait.

About Gabrielle Burns

I am a Jamaican at play here in this vast playground in cyberspace....Yes, at times I do like to live dangerously, but I AM also working hard at becoming more interesting by the day... :)
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2 Responses to Two women, two sisters

  1. on 2 women….THE FILILAL BOND AMONGST FAMILY MEMBERS. tk u mlj lv nv


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