by Jennifer Maame Prempeh

Journeying into the unknown,
Journeying into the deep soil,
Into a trunk, which has been 
Uprooted and stripped of it’s branches
Removed from its natural soil,
 And thrust into a cold and bitter 
Climate of an unknown land   

Journeying into the unknown
Journeying to imagine the unimaginable
Journeying to confront your fears,
To recover my motherland,
The tired, colonized soul of
My motherland

We have come,
We have journeyed home
We have come to embrace our motherland  

Forgive me if I do not understand 
Nor speak my mother tongue,
For we have been away for too long
Forgive me if I do not answer 
When you hail my name,

The name that mista smith gave me has a
Different tone, an unfamiliar beat 
To the name that you persistently call me with,
Like a frightened mother who screams for her lost child
And only to hear the echoes of her own voice 

Journeying into the pit of my soul
Journeying to recover my stolen identity 
Journeying to recover what humanity 
Stripped of my flesh

We were stolen,
Captured like hunted antelope
Only this hunter had no love,
Nor respect for the hunted
We were herded onto a boat
And shipped of to an unknown destination
A land that had no sunshine,
A climate that is so cold it cracked my
Soft skin and offered no shea butter
To grease my cracked wounds 

We have come
We have survived
We have come to give thanks to those 
Who lost their lives on the journey
And to those who were not captured 
But who’s heart were forcibly pieced 
With Kaigama’s arrow

Forgive as if we do not bear our tribal marks,
Forgive me if my hips do not move
Ceremoniously to the drumbeat,
For I am mixed breed, 
Part British part Spanish
I am the descendant of a slave girl
A property that mista smith could 
Enjoy at his convenience
A property that he could explore the
Benefits of my hips, my upright breasts
And the rhythmic beats of my waistbeads 

I heard you cry out
I cried back
I was your untouched child,
But I became mista smith’s property 
Part of his wealth and livestock
And a property cannot be RAPED

Hush, do not weep
We have survived we have journeyed HOME
Ah Obataan pa due, demirifa due
Due ne amanehunu!

Motherland by Jennifer Maame Prempeh

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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