In honor of #NationalPoetryDay . . . An Original Piece I Wrote This Summer

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 pillowing cotton fields on a country road,

The spring gardenias whose fragrance

Floats over a breeze like a warm sun shower.

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

From Willa Moore and Florence Everett

From John Robinson and Otha Berger,

From Deborah Joyce and Neill Donald.

I’m from the vigilant prayer warriors

Who say grace before 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 Force medic who both believed in

education as a pathway to upward mobility,

A laborious nurse who made 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 best intentions for his offspring and political prowess

His wife’s selfless heart and analytical intellect

I am home.