I come from the land of
Where You From?
My people dispossessed of their stories
and who have died again and again
in a minstrelsy of afterlives, wakes,
the dead who walk, waiting and
furrowed, like ivy crawling up
All those museums and mausoleums,
lifting languages from rivers.
But I cannot leave them
for the rugged North
nor the hot-blooded South south of us,
nor the untamed deltas
that plaster us to our jackets
My road is neither smooth nor gravel,
my destination neither cathedral nor whole.
I am learning
all about ex-colonial States and states,
the oblivion of my fate
and the legacy of the Veil
from sea to shining sea, drowning
in the calm of our Great Lakes
And the orphan angels
who crowd our classrooms:
I see them, heartless & disrespected
each page burning as it gets read,
and their othered faces burning to tell the others
this ain’t nobody’s Atlantic!
we don’t have to keep on dyin’ in books!
Adebe D. A., “Ex Libris” from Ex Nihilo. Copyright © 2010 by Adebe DeRango-Adem. Reprinted by permission of Frontenac Books.
Source: Ex Nihilo (Frontenac Books, 2010)