Sankofa - Edith Faalong

I met people baba…
They talked of things so fine.
They talked of skyscrapers and fast cars
and I remembered you grandpa: I remembered our holy village
with the mud houses and thatch roofs we so treasured.
The mud houses and thatch roofs we built with our hands.
and the old broken bicycle in the corner that Uncle Thom was so proud of.

They talked with such excitement about the disco
and I remembered the nights we sat around the fire
not wanting to breath lest we miss a word of your awesome stories.
They talked about the women who had faces like their palms
and clothes like skin.
and I smiled in amusement because my mind galloped back to
the full moon nights
when men drummed and children clapped and
women stamped their feet and twirled around
in smooth rhythm to timeless music.
Full bosoms heaving, paying homage to music that transcends
generations and age.
I remembered grandma and her friends
laughing toothlessly and trying without success to join the dance.

And yet they talked on…
and it confused me.
Because I didn’t come here to wine and dine, but to shine.
I remember our debut with nostalgia.
Grandpa, remember how we set off?
With a dream in our hearts and a vision in our eyes.
With your blessing on our heads and your advise in our ears.
The taste of the millet porridge still on our tongues.
But here I find so many ills vying for authority to pull me down.
Yet my spirit laughs loud.
The millet porridge may taste faint on my tongue,
but I remember I came from strong stock.
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