to declare the pain of our deliverance

Golden hour in Southampton, Ontario (Photo credit: nokyoungxayasane / Instagram)

Golden hour in Southampton, Ontario (Photo credit: nokxayasane/Instagram)

Liberation, Abena Busia

We are all mothers
and we have that fire within us,
of powerful women
whose spirits are so angry
we can laugh beauty into life
and still make you taste
the salt tears of our knowledge—
For we are not tortured
anymore:
we have seen beyond your lies and disguises,
and we have mastered the language of words,
we have mastered speech
And know
we have also seen ourselves
We have stripped ourselves raw
and naked piece by piece until our flesh lies flayed
with blood on our own hands
What terrible thing can you do to us
which we have not done to ourselves?
What can you tell us
which we didn’t deceive ourselves with
a long time ago?
You cannot know how long we cried
until we laughed
over the broken pieces of our dreams.
Ignorance
shattered us into such fragments
we had to unearth ourselves piece by piece,
to recover with our own hands such unexpected relics
even we wondered
how we could hold such treasure.
Yes, we have conceived
to forge our mutilated hopes
into the substance of visions
beyond your imaginings
to declare the pain of our deliverance
So do not even ask,
do not ask what is we are labouring with this time.
Dreamers remember their dreams
when we are disturbed—
And you shall not escape
what we will make
of the broken pieces of our lives.

(Ghana)

The Poetry of Our World: An International Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (2000)

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