Blood Line

Slavery-TodayMy nephew has my birthmark on his chest. My face has my mother’s nose, and my smile is etched with my father’s teeth. I interact with the world as if on my own. It never occurs to me that I swing my arms like my Aunt. Or that the decisions I make may have already been made before. They say there is nothing new under the sun. I cannot swim. But maybe that’s because the Great Flood has traumatized me. Can I still taste salt water seas on my tongue? Have you ever thought about the make-up of a blood line?

The possibility that maybe you inherited these ways only to gift them to someone else one day. I smile at the thought. What would a little girl look like with my eyes, my words and my hands on her hips? How do I know my favorite tree did not bleed with the stench of my ancestors? And have I ever fathomed why Hurricanes take the same route as the slave ships? Can it be that bodies still burn like melted ash upon the ocean floor? Its smoke mixed with the wind before marching out to the beat of Negro Spirituals I could have sworn I heard on the radio last night. Or maybe that’s just the Harriet in me. Perhaps I may gather poetry in my arms like the wind released of its chains. Is it possible that words can free those who do not know that they are slaves?