Linking up with Luke Harms for the second #spiritofthepoor synchroblog:
Red dirt of Africa, calling out to me again.
Visit in dreams and visions and memories.
Who knew so many changes
Could happen in one decade?
Not the coastal town, but my own heart
No longer whited out but starting to fill in
Red and pumping. Red, like the West Coast soil.
Red, like the history of the castle whose screams yet echo
And chase the unsuspecting to the edge
To gaze down at the waves crashing over jagged rocks in the sea
In search of the breath that means I’m still alive
Even while death is calling out.
I am no longer deaf.
Warm oceanside breeze.
It blows hot against my skin
Creating goosebumps even though I am not cold.
I can still see:
Abandoned boats pulled high up from the tide,
Bible verses etched into dead sanded wood,
The daily crushing of meal,
The children in mismatched garments begging for American dollar,
They knew better than I that I did not really bring them anything
Even though that was my mission.
I feel the weight of my carelessness.
Taste of pineapple fresh from the fields. I realized
There is no such thing as "real" pineapple in my country-
They look alike but the flavor is as different as our two worlds.
When I'm honest, it's easy to tell the difference.
I am not senseless.
Coarse and colorful designs of Ghanian textiles,
Deftly sewn into beautiful robes by grace-filled women
Who refused to be swallowed in the despair of their poverty.
I spent more than I owned to secure the token garments
Which my "buy now, pay later" options afforded.
The dress calls from my closet
And asks me why I have not worn her for the last three years.
And I don’t know what to tell her.
“I don’t deserve you?“
I am no longer blind.
The scent of the trash burning
In every backyard of Cape Coast
Would make my eyes water,
And the stench is indescribable-
You just have to experience it and learn to accept it
Right along with the flies buzzing
Around your skirt-covered ankles.
I try to interpret the message these memories send
And I could be wrong, but
I cannot be silent about this:
Because I wonder...Does the odor of my privilege smell the same?