September 30, 2013 R. Drew Smith

Poems by Maxine Bryant in response to Ghana slave sites 2013

[Poems by Maxine Bryant in response to the slave memorial site visits during the 2013 TRRR Ghana visit]

My Journey

My journey to Egypt transformed my theology.
My pilgrimage to Ghana transformed me!

My feet touched Mother Earth and carried me to the river
Where my ancestors had their last bath. – the thought made me shiver!
The fear that must have plagued their heart
Gripped my soul as on the soil I stood planted
Transcended for a moment – unable to depart
From the flood of memories – there I was granted
a gift from God who allowed me to bask in the presence
Of the sprints of my ancestors – a moment of reverence

I became one with those who waded
in the water of Africa one last time
The ones who’s dark skin glistened in the sun, just like mine!
We communed together -they and me as on the bank I stood
Relishing the moment knowing that had it not been for their sacrifices I would
Not be the me I am today.
Recognizing the path they began there truly paved my way.

We sang ‘wade in the water’ and ‘somebody’s calling my name’
As the ancestors’ spirits welcomed us in this sacred place unfamed
A community of us from around the globe – sharing a tie binding us together
Interweaving our kindred spirits and connecting us forever

I left the banks of that river with water flowing from my eyes
I was changed forevermore
For my spirit was reborn there as I stood on the quiet river’s shore
Where the ancestors’ voice whispered in my sprit’s ear
Words of peace and freedom that even with dimmed hearing, I could loudly hear!

Maxine L. Bryant

I Hear Their Cry

I hear their cry!

I hear the cry of women torn from their children and men
I hear the cry of little girls stripped of their dignity and then
Made to stand in their own filth and waste
In this awful pungent space
I hear their cry!

I hear their cry!
The sound of moans and groans – fear of the unknown
The sound of screams and hollars as my people long
to return to their villages of peace and love
To the places where they worshipped God above
I hear their cry!

I hear their cry!
From the dungeon walls – crying out to us to never forget
The sound of their voices as from their land they left
As they were led from this place of anguish step by step
I hear their cry!

I hear the cry of the men who were trying to be strong
Who wanted to protect the women and girls from the wrong
That white men were doing I hear their spirits still moving
To protect humanity from a downward destiny
I hear their cry!

Maxine L. Bryant

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