A Poem Inspired By Maya Angelou’s ‘Life Doesn’t Frighten Me’

An adaptation of Maya Angelou’s rendition of “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” published in 1993 with dark, edgy graffiti by Jean-Michel Basquiat. This poem is based loosely on her childhood, and mine is based on my coming of age.
Shadows in the street,
some strangers in a fleet.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
They are big and scary
like the ones who fight fairies.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
Mean old friends
who were supposed to be till the end.
They don’t frighten me at all.
My country breathing flames
as a woman is burnt in vain.
That doesn’t frighten me at all.
I go ‘hey’,
stay out of my way.
I crack jokes
when they pinpoint my looks.
I sometimes cry,
the way they prod and pry.
But then, I smile.
Oh! They run away a mile.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
Couples fight,
all alone at night.
The woman screams,
I think it’s just a dream.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
Tigers let loose,
mobs through I cruise.
No, they don’t frighten me at all.
That dark alley where
boys all of my clothes, tear.
(The crowd signs fast
and light candles on my behalf)
They don’t frighten me at all.
Could you not show me unsolicited pics?
For you’ll be left with a blue tick.
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.
Where I’ve got everyone by my side
who don’t pin and prod,
but walk together
by the ocean floor
to rise against oppression
which will heal all our suppression
and surpass our depression.
Leaderless we stand
as the water touches our feet in the sand,
to get that last grain of salt
and put them at a halt.
But is it us or them,
which makes me question the length of my hem.
Oh, nothing frightens me at all.
Not at all
Not at all.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
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