I know the question will come one day when we are far away from the watering holes and fabric shops. He will stop and innocently ask, “Where am I from?” Today as we walk, I find the time to begin drafting my response.
You are from cocoa, roasted and unsweetened, made especially not to melt in the sun,
You are from old wooden boards nailed together and painted blue, humble, functional, and rough to the touch,
You are from broken trees with bottle brush flowers and woody pods that make music on windy days,
You are from long, slow walks and talking to strangers,
From Evon and Kunga,
You are from naming babies the day of the week they were born, from wearing colorful stories on backs,
From “Obroni” and “How’s my boy?”
From the ringing bells at a lime green church and the dusty white minaret hugging a tiny mosque,
You are from Ghana, from the Ga, Ewe and Akan,
From crispy fried plantains and crunchy ground nuts,
From Abbayayo who pack a bit of everything good for long, moonlit journeys home,
From alley ways that let you disappear for a small moment in time,
And potholes that slow you down and help you notice the uneven ground around you.
This slice was inspired by Geoge Ella Lyon’s poem ’Where I’m From.”