Lynn's Poem -- 'The Secret River'
Your poem is just amazing and you are an incredibly-talented woman!!
This poem was absolutely incredible and says so much
---- not only about your own personal family, but about
so very many of the families and individuals who were of an
MGM-Mixed lineage (which also contains 'black' admixture)
and which over a period of years (sometimes due to various
shameful experiences, disappointing encounters and even
malevolent treatment by others) decided to take on a "black"
socio-political "identity" in order to try to feel more empowered.
What's ironic is that -- just like you said --
their Mixed-Race lineage remained undeniable.
Please continue in your God-given gift of both 'researching'
your own family and other's MGM-Mixed history AND
in 'chronicling' it in your poetic works and prose.
You may very well be the next 'J. California Cooper'
(author of the book, 'Family' -- which tells the story
of an MGM-Mixed / Mixed-Race American family).
If you decide to publish a collection of your works -- feel
free to provide a link to the publishing company on our site.
Thanks again for sharing this profound work with us all!
"Lynn" of <wintyreeve@...>
[Fri Mar 24, 2006 ] wrote:
I wrote a poem I would like to share with you.
The inspiration of this poem is being so totally
frustrated by my family as I am researching my
family history and getting resistance at every turn.
Looking at pictures of my grandfather--it
is obvious by his features that he is Mixed.
Yet, no one wants to admit it, let alone talk about it!
After a year of writing letters to strangers,
I finally found a long-lost cousin.
I have talked to this cousin for 9 months before he
finally told me that my family IS MIXED, and that
we are both African-American and Euro-American.
Which means that at least one female relative was
raped while in slavery, and had children from
this assault (I have found this ancestor).
In addition, there are several more Mixtures down
the line--which no one wants to talk about, either.
On top of that it seems like the family has
split down the color-line, and chosen to
segregate themselves from each other.
So instead of pulling my hair out going bald in
the process of frustration, hehe, I wrote a poem.
The Secret River
The multi-racial lineage of my family is but a whisper;
secretly we know its there and secretly
we deny its existence.
When you talk about 'mixed', our memories turn to the obvious reminders'
the relatives with the lighter skin or the straighter hair.
Of course, they are mixed, what else is there to say?
Underneath the rumble of our voices,
and the turn of our smiles,
is the secret river of our bloodline,
carrying not only genes but a hidden shame.
So we don't look that far back in our past,
don't ask questions, and turn our eyes away from the obvious.
It is much safer to be black.
Black is a color that blots out any stain,
awash in darkness our feelings are numb.
Fumbling through the darkness,
we find each other, we always have.
We love our blackness because they once hated us,
from their hatred we came together as a family,
loving our dark skin, curly hair and midnight eyes.
We love our black babies,
bestowing our dreams upon our children'
of them all, the strongest is a wish,
a need to break free from the past.
So we moved forward by embracing the black
that blotted out all painful memories.
Our children are the most visible reminders,
so through their blackness,
we sought to remove from ourselves
the most painful reminder of our humiliation.
We worked and fought to create
our own place in the world
a unique vision of what it meant to be black.
Woven within that vision were the traditions passed down
in our memories, beliefs, family recipes.
And yet, we could not escape
the secret river that rose through our veins,
washing the black
with something strikingly different.
© All Rights Reserved.
NOTE: The poem entitled, 'The Secret River' is the © copyright work of it's author
(`Lynn' of http://profiles.yahoo.com/graceofwynn) and thus, all of the general
copyright (c) standards are fully acknowledged within this publication.
- Hi Soap & Friends,I am glad you liked "Secret River". I am actually very humble about that poem.
To me it is a "collective" project -- when I think about all the efforts,
sacrifices and dreams of all those who came before us and
worked so hard to give us the life we now have, all our
opportunities, its the least I can do to show respect.
And I also feel a strong sense of purpose to Generation Mixed,
and our movement of Mixed Peoples all around the world--we really
are the turning generation, making changes now--bringing awareness.
There is so much unsaid, at times it seems very difficult to write!
I just want to encourage all of you to keep shining in the gifts and
abilities you are blessed with. Lead with a loud voice and a strong heart.
What we do today will be not only remembered but embraced by
future generations. Perhaps someday there will be no "secret river"
but a river we all jump into -- drawing from as equals, knowledge
of our past and lessons to build a better future for our children
and for a society that truly represents freedom for all.
Thanks again for taking the time to
read my work, and being so supportive.
I am honored to be a part of Generation Mixed
... and will keep up the fight over here!Blessings~ Lynn
- Lynn... What a very nice and appropriate poem =)
It definitely describes how many of us are
feeling/have felt (I know it does, for me!).