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My new Poem- The Secret River

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  • graceofwynn
    Hello Friends- 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
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 24, 2006
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      Hello Friends-

      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.
      Enjoy.


      :) Lynn


      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.)
    • Lynn Mari
      Thanks for your encouragement Brittany :) I really am so thankful to be a part of this group, and to have all of you as friends. In alot of ways what I learn
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 26, 2006
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        Thanks for your encouragement Brittany :) I really am so thankful to be a part of this group, and to have all of you as friends. In alot of ways what I learn here are insights and stories that I can bring back to my family and help heal them. So I really APPRECIATE this board and each one of you ()-:)
         
        Namaste~ Lynn


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