To the Once Enslaved of Morris Hall

I work for the ancestors. I have never worked for anybody else. Alice Walker

To the Once Enslaved of Morris Hall:

Blackberries Sweet blackberries and grass that smells of onions Where rivers cross by, carrying messages To the roots of the trees Here since the land was fertile And toiled. Here have set foot ‘Scendents of yours

By far through the valley of lands

Plowed down by men Beneath hardened soil, Lay your bones, brittle, ashen— Brutally put forth There the limbs breach the soil And fire burns to embers upon a dark sky They see, and sing songs to you, hope to match your cries

You, the Once Enslaved of Morris Hall Have your way with this air Welcome back your tribes and witch doctors Conjure rain where blood stained Break branches where before The bent spines bowed Toiling land once fertile

Hear their prayers Accept the blood of sacrificed— Beaks and talons of the winged mystics Sent forth to bring you to Retribution To sovereignty. Drink their libations Quench the salted thirsts of those drowning in the Atlantic Akכm with them Their calloused feet toiling So that you may be alive through us Free through us

© Ama Akoto (2018)

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