Like Langston Hughes Did

I am living
to heal the hole
in my heart
from Middle Passage
salt-water burns
to kiss the earth
of my Mother/ Fatherland
to become one
with my ancestors
the Ashanti, Ibo, Housa, Yoruba,
Pigmy, Dogun, Wallof, Fulani,
Zulu, Watusi, Mandingo, Nubian
My brothers
My sisters
My Mother’s great great grandmothers
My Father’s great great grandfathers
My ancient homeland
My people with ages and ancient temples in their eyes
Salt-water Africans
returned to me
the salt burning my eyes,
a cleansing of heart.

Mona Lisa Saloy
from her book Red Beans and Ricely Yours
Truman State University Press, 2005
reprinted with permission of the poet

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