“Diaspora”

Laurean D. Robinson, MA

 

 

I am from crisp sweet potato pie

From golden, Crisco cooking oil.

I  am from aging, brick brownstones in bustling cities

That sweep your breath and heart away if you let them

From a small small farm with noisy hogs, grazing cows, and pungent tobacco.

I am from pillowy cotton fields on a country road,

The spring gardenias whose fragrance floats over a breeze like a warm summer shower.

 

I’m from chicken fried family reunions and libration-laden fellowship,

From Willia Moore and Florence Everett,

From John Robinson and Otha Berger,

From Neill Donald and Deborah Joyce.

I’m from the vigilant prayer warriors who say grace at every meal

and pray over every family hardship,

From “My door stands on welcome hinges” and “Love ya, Shug.”

 

I’m from the small town of Dunn, North Carolina

Outside Raleigh’s metropolis and ancestral Ivory Coast,

Of jumbo green okra and snapped string beans

directly from the porch.

From a diligent sharecropper and decorated Air Forces medic

who both believed in education as a pathway to upward mobility,

A laborious nurse who make local history

As the first African American nurse in Harnett County, North Carolina.

 

I am from tattered scrapbooks, half-written journals,

Unlaminated voter registration cards,

Yellowing yearbooks of youthful pasts and

Expansive family bibles.

 

I am the manifestation of my great-grandmother’s dreams for the future,

Her daughter’s personal sacrifices for the family,

Her son’s  political prowess and best intentions for his offspring,

His wife’s selfless heart and analytical intellect.

 

I am home.