Daughter of the soil

By Dasan Ahanu

 

Take a deep look into her eyes.

A labyrinth of learning.

A historical maze of moments etched into her subconscious.

Waters flowing through the Nile River.

Kingdoms established in Nubia and Egypt.

Wisdom written in distinct style.

Art as beautiful as the morning sky.

Philosophy and Astronomy

feeding curious intellect.

 

She carries a sense of pride for this 

Land.

Where cities of prominence grew along the Niger.

Where empires reigned like Ghana and Ethiopia.

Her mother has always birthed strength and courage.

Always.

 

She’s heard songs.

Sung in tongues so swift

to drums that played life rhythms.

People existed to the beat.

Thrived in the sound.

As griots shared lessons 

held in their mouths 

like water in gourds.

 

She’s heard cries.

From an ocean that ate fallen angels.

Tribal futures 

captured by false promises.

Enslaved in shackles and taken away

from the Cape of Good Hope.

 

How ironic.

Precious jewels taken in chains

from momma’s jewelry box.

Then.

Now.

Diamonds are still attached to pain.

 

Look deep into her eyes.

Know that what you see there

is a message to not ever call this nightmare.

Not when Ghana is so amazing.

Not when Cape Town is so prominent.

Not when Nairobi is so beautiful.

 

She knows conflict.

Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Ethiopia

ravaged by war.

Nigeria and its battles 

with the barons of oil.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo

losing its grasp on its resources.

South Africa’s fight for freedom and liberation.

Fighting.

Until a democratic election was finally held.

Hope held in the hearts of many.

Guns held in the hands of the ANC.

Soweto will not be forgotten.

 

She knows loss.

As ghosts haunt her memory.

Loved ones taken by AIDS.

Grey clouds darkening the sky.

Crying.

Screaming.

The heavens dark 

with anguish and hurt.

 

Her eyes are a window.

Don’t you see a peace as powerful

as the clear night sky?

Feel the comfort of a cool calm breeze?

Hear the sounds of her mother’s voice?

 

Her mother 

land.

Still beautiful.

Still rich in meaning. 

In resource.

In resolve.

Can you see what she knows and

has always known?

 

Her eyes speak its majesty.

Its legacy falls from her lips

like water from gourds.

Like wisdom from griots.

Recalling history etched into her understanding.

Destiny drawn on her insight.

Portraits of promise hung on her spirit.

She knows her mother’s value.

Knows the contours of her face.

The ancestry in her features.

Wondrous things grow here.

Magnificent things blossom here.

Kingdoms were born here.

Futures are raised here.

 

Can’t you see it?

 

It’s all in her eyes.