Distant Shores/Welcome Home

I don’t go to the ocean anymore, it pains
To smell the salty air.
When I feel the sand beneath my feet, it
Conjures images of my first boat ride
Upon the sea
There were no tickets or cabins along
The decks, only a vast empty hull, our
Bodies twisted together like cattle,
Blood, vomit, and feces dripping down
Upon the bodies below
Seasickness was unbearable, the
flow of bile spewing from us all
Mother Africa ripped violently
From our souls, from the inside
For those of us who survived, we would
Be stripped down to nakedness and sold
To the highest bidder
Then beaten until we spoke
A name that meant nothing to us. Whipped
every time we spoke our native language.
Beaten until our history, heritage,
And our dialects down through the
I do not go to the ocean anymore, there
Are just too many languages that drowned
And wash up on the shores, too many bodies
immersed in the deep
I will not rest easy until I can rest my
Feet on Mother Africa and bring my ancestors
Home, their spirits weary from the long journey.
I want to look into the eyes of Africans, and
Upon their lips, I want to hear, “Welcome Home.”

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