Happy World Poetry Day!
I AM…Poem by Vean Torto
Black woman, British-Caribbean woman, African-Caribbean woman it’s the box I tick, is that who I am? With a Dominican mother and a father proudly Grenadian.
Arawak Indian, White and African ancestors. I am West Indian. That’s who I am.
You see my forefathers were forced onto those islands, oh what terrifying fear and blinding confusion.
Hearing a language their ears could not understand, the pain had began, the black holocaust had began.
Some never survived that crossing, that transition from King to commodity.
Chained, branded with fate sealed. Down in those seas they drowned on their way to no mans land.
Would wife see husband again, would child ever see mother? How degrading that the hundreds now chained, naked together didn’t even know each other.
Death would have seemed like a better plan, surely a better plan.
Assorted bloodlines now bearing the last names of those who owned us. Who held deeds on us creating a new nation. Evaporating every tribe and cultural divide. No more Ashanti or Igbo pride.
Again I say my forefathers were forced on that land, dehumanised, abused and defiled by the overseers hand. I wonder where my roots in the Motherland began. Ghana, Guinea or Sudan. Truth is we’re African, WE ARE African.
Your skin defiantly bore the pain of barbaric torture and whippings, yet would still proudly gleam in the midday sun and glisten.
Melanin boldly screaming it’s survival anthem at those who had all but your soul captured. Was this the masters plan? Surely this was not the masters plan?
May my tongue and pen forever tell your story, my story, our story. May my tears as they fall remember your names. May my heart beat with the rhythm of your run to freedom. For I am your descendant. Proudly your descendant.
(Vean Torto 2016)
Photo credit: Google/discover-Liverpool.com