Leaf Of Their Tree

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

I am the son of Maya who awoke me,
the son of Elizabeth who showed me,
the son of bell who taught me,
I am the son of Vashti who remained true to herself,
the son of those who refuse, the son of those who sit,
the son of those who stand,
of those who do what they want.
I am the son of countless daughters,
I am the leaf of their tree,
and I shall give that tree as much life as possible,
I shall not forsake that which I grew from.
I am the son of Michelle who inspired, the son of Chimamanda who spoke,
the son of Tsitsi whose daughters flourished, of Harper whose words made weep,
of Mary who vindicated,
the son of those who were force-fed, misdiagnosed,
abandoned, mutilated,
the son of animal mothers whose cries are just as poignant
and tortured, whose young get stuck between the teeth,
whose milk fed me for years until I realised I stole from them,
I am the son of those I do not know,
of all I have not mentioned,
their stories untold and forgotten,
their words burned from the world
their bones thrown away, lying out there somewhere
underneath where deep mythical forests now grow,
green mothers swathing babes in tender cloth,
I am the son that tries to remember,
I am the son that wants to do better,
I am the son whose words belong to those that came before.

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