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PATRICIA JABBEH WESLEY

PATRICIA JABBEH WESLEY

Liberia, 1955


Africa

                  

The calabash
now shattered

her contents
spilled
like palm wine

across the regions

of the world

Medellin, 2007

Medellin, Oh, Medellin…
to God, I wish I could take out my heart for you,
but how will I sing this song to you without a heart?
You, with so much heart for love and poetry,
for hope in the eyes of the little girl
who with a scrap of white paper, wants me to say a word
to her, to autograph my name for her, to write it in her
name. She tells me with that unusual smile how
she loves my poems, but she is only eight years old.
She and Carlos, the five year old brother who have
pushed through the thousands to get to me.

Medellin, Oh, Medellin…
where we go down from the mountain
into the bowl of a city, into the deep heart of a city,
so warm, a city where people still smile
and clap to a poem, and cry for the war, a city
where concrete houses hold up the hills with muscles
of steel, muscles of pain, and somewhere along the roads
as the bus descends from the airport, the poor have
erected their own lives so sadly, waiting,
and yet, they overlook the city with hope.
From the edge of sharp cliffs and the side roads,
the burning lights and flames of the city, hard
and indistinguishable from anger.
But theirs is of the pain from the years gone.

Medellin, Oh, Medellin…
Waiting can be so hard, Medellin.
And I love you from my heart. I love your laughter,
your warm hugs and kisses, your Spanish, so simply
plain and warm. I love even your tears that
you have shared with me, when a poem I’m reading
touches you in that place where only a poem can go.
At the International Poetry Festival, you sit there,
along your hill arena, clapping, thousands of people,
sitting and thinking and listening and hoping,
Medellin, I have never seen anything like this before.
Thousands of people sitting for long hours
at a poetry reading, Medellin…
we wait for that day, Medellin, we wait.
Trust me, I know how to wait, and I know you do too.

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley born at Monrovia, Liberia, located on the West Coast of Africa. Over the last decades, Liberia has been in the midst of war and civil unrest. The beauty of the Atlantic with its long beaches remains unscarred despite fourteen years of war. My poetry is often an outcry against the devastation to this beautiful homeland.

Ph.D., Creative Writing and English, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2002.

Publications: Before The Palm Could Bloom: Poems of Africa, 1998; Before the Palm Could Bloom: Poems of Africa, 1998, and Becoming Ebony, 2002.

From: http://www.patriciajabbehwesley.net/

Última actualización: 28/06/2018