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Whispers of My Ancestors

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

By: Alishia McCullough




rich and warm voices travel through the night

reminding me that they are around me and within me

they are fragments of my own voice

highly esteemed narrators and oracles

their songs echo in my thoughtless hum

their thoughts reside within my subconscious

they have passed down ancestral trauma, wisdom, and strength

their laughs are exuberant

beginning at the belly and rumbling off my vertebrae

my uneasiness in the land that I call home is their wisdom as to where I belong

guiding me closer to the origins of all humanity

they are the yesterday and the here and now

their eyes see answered prayers through the sunrise in my window

they are intelligent like the rice and gold they braided in their hair for survival

historians passing down the names through each generation so that we would not forget

they are the scribes who recorded ancestry in old tattered bibles

that would stay in families for generations to come

they are blackness so strong that one drop was enough to connect us

my ancestors are the beginning of every musical genre

they are builders and inventors of the modern world

the original creators of southern style soul food curated from table scraps

marinated with love and hope giving off the aromas of eternal life

they are the whispers in the trees

the softness in the wind

the courage in the fight

and the internal heartbeat that mummers

“they tried to bury us, but we rose”

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