Without Roots - Edith Faalong

through the journey i rode behind the jolting bus and reminisced.
soon...
soon...
and my heart smiled.
soon i would glimpse Keta,
the jewel of the ocean that sired me and many.

i could barely wait to see gleeful children in tattered clothes rush to
greet me,
mouths wide with grins of anticipation,
old arms of aunties around me.
to smell fish, baking in the sun, smoking on fires, sizzling deep in hot oil.
to stub my foot on forgotten fish bones in the sand.
to laugh with Enyonam about my adventures in the city.

but when i alighted from the bus,
i found rubble and stone buried beneath huge waves of water...
in the stead of our house.
where is our family house?
no one to greet me.
only a cradling fire in the distance and an echo of bewilderment in the
stillness of the night.

where went our land?
after the bare bottomed children have swam and played, to where will they
retire?
shall day and night be spent in the embrace of foreign soil?

where went our land?
the tide came and went.
when it was gone, so was our house and land,
sucked into the hungry, roaring belly of the sea.

i drop my bag and begin to walk.
to where?
i don't know.
where does a girl without roots go?



"Without Roots" is part one of our five-part series of poems on Keta. Further installments will be posted weekly throughout January.

3 comments:

1 African said...

Someone just made it to my list of favourite poets.
Well done Edith.

Julian said...

This is a sizzling piece of work and one can picture the location in the mind's eye without a doubt. This is an epitome of what African poetry is all about. If an upcoming Economist can put down such a good poem then Africa has a future to be proud of. Edith, felicidades Amiga!

ianjazzi said...

wow edith, i certainly didn't know u i guess... u r more than just a poet. lovely piece. worthy of an award