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
Where cities of prominence grew along the Niger.
Where empires reigned like Ghana and Ethiopia.
Her mother has always birthed strength and courage.
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.
captured by false promises.
Enslaved in shackles and taken away
from the Cape of Good Hope.
Precious jewels taken in chains
from momma’s jewelry box.
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.
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.
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?
Still rich in meaning.
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.