NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 3 - Fall 2018 - Page 104

November 12, 2015 for Liberia November 12, thirty years after our failed coup, and I am driving through another city. Hills, valleys, old houses clinging to years gone. I’ve been an alien so long, sometimes I feel like belonging. But the ground here is gray, soft, clay rocks in between white soil, clay enough to turn soil into pots and plates into jugs. Difference is measured not only in the cold November frost, the falling leaves or in the slow yellowing of oak even though we know that no matter how long it takes the oak to yellow and turn red like fire, red, like blood, no matter how stubborn its will, the oak will shed its leaves like all the other trees, become as brittle as dry limbs after a forest fire. November 12, and my mind takes me way back home. Home, the humid sun, bright, hot, like fire, and the town, divided by the ocean and the river, the past of bloodshed, the burning anger and pain, when years ago, a hero came, or shall we call him coward? Thomas Quiwonkpa, Poem Written in My Doctor’s Office the early morning mist, rising out of the Mesurado, the honking cars, market women on their way to work, and out of nowhere, my neighbors’ voices shouting at another hard day. November 12, but this is where a road leads home, the earth, red, blood and water, my family line where the soil still holds onto my umbilical cord, buried in the hills of Dolokeh, home, and Monrovia, where my father’s grave Some mornings I float like a piece of paper in the wind, pile upon pile, my daily routines, stacked against one another as I juggle children, husband, my life of teaching, writing, reading useless emails, I make it through the day, drive home, so I can sink into a couch in this America where I have unbuckled myself from extended family, where the ocean miles of salty winds have twisted awaits my return so I can kneel and cry and pray, and tell him how sometimes, I am so lonely in this far away country, I want to walk and walk and walk and walk and walk until I’m back home again. rust in between the five thousand miles, where in the salty time of air and space, I have lost it all, November 12, no matter how ugly they say home looks, there’s never a day when you do not want to go back home. of the exile. There is no laughter when you are so many miles away from your homeland, home, siblings, nieces and nephews, all strangers to me. There are no rewards in the wandering feet and you grope for ropes in the raging waters between here and Africa. In my dream, I am a flying angel, carrying the cries of all my wandering, lost ancestors who are beckoning us to come home, to come on home, to come back home now. At the doorposts, the kola nut is growing and bleeding in Iyeeh’s kola nut bowl, where the kola nut has grown small limbs as the old hometown awaits my return. coup planner or shall we call him the messenger of death, sent by alien people to rob us of home? Liberia, fire, death, the massacre of our people, the beginning of the rest of our lives in exile. November 12, as I drive through this strange town, where for years, my heart has longed for home,