Artwork by Lincoln Hughes
August 13, 2019
Although we reside in the newest refined city of village rock, the rules we follow are of the past. No one cares to change them—they’re managed by those who were born into them. But as rulers pass, time will tell if their stories make it to Saint Laurent’co Circle and back.
We once found home where we’d rest.
Rest being the area we could feed our chest.
Beating it like drums; as survival was the test.
Our sun lingers on all but the following believers.
Forgetting to look up; in the way, a preacher’s finger.
Home was where the gut settles,
Where the heart beats mellow.
It’s not the street, or your next door fellow.
Nor the brownstone you rent from an uptown dweller.
Make it in the mind—be happy, be kind.
Home’s the space we can be us.
Money may hinder; confusing enough?
Watch who you trust.
I was born out a small village they named Dronya, miles outside the wall borders of Trenchport—near Central-West Africa’s Panaya. Between a rock and hard place, it’s hard describing my home with a setting of space. They never told us who sprayed the lands, but as Dronya was sprayed, we walked to Bhuri. I recall 13 moons until the village lost its access to fresh water. The women were coming up missing. We were often thirsty. After barriers were ambled by animals, we’d walk again. Sister villages Pranantika and Nibiru was home prior to our one-way flight to the bank. Before settling closer to the Panaya, we went from Puro Village, Sambahula, Anatirikta, Vizala, Jala, Tola, Jalohondorhona, which is where we almost lost my sister, Remi.
The Panaya was safe, however, not every bend held clean water. At least the people who lie at the bed weren’t sprayed there. It was my playground for 11 years. Through political warfare and corrupt leadership, my dad and Nwaka flew us out. As social justice warriors, they made me question my purpose venturing through TheValley as a child. And today, only the wealthy and fortunate indigenous people get near the river.
We refuse to be labeled tourists on our birthland.