love poems: amuzu (part one)

friends, neighbors, countrymen
lend me your eardrums
this is the story of my father
may his life be long
part one

my father is a street boy
never had shit
grew up in voodoland
will put a hex on you
thirty-six siblings because his father
liked to spread his seed. this is what farmers do

remember, my father is the son of a farmer
so he learned to spread his seed too

was seven when Ghana freed herself
black star shines forever
read by candlelight to learn the white man’s game
they call it capitalism
you have to win
and if you lose
they will call it third world
but we call it home

street boy grew
his hustle did too. all he knows is hustle
rode train to Liberia
got a little bit of money
gold chains to show he’s got it
all gold everything because the streets
need to see him shine

street boy is a motherless child
meets girl who is the ghost of his mother
this will be the only time he remembers
what love looks like
he will love no other
except the streets
cause you can’t take the street out the boy
no matter how well he learns to play the game

will dodge rebel bullets
don’t give a damn about your street gangs
your bloods or your crips
all his friends died with their throats slit
he will follow the trail of their blood to america

they will call him refugee because the land he came from
cracked open and tried to swallow him whole
but he came up from the cracks
and the prayer of the street boy is,
“G-d, don’t ever let me go back”

so he hustled
brought his girl to foreign land
her belly swollen with child
Lady Liberty looked upon them and said
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddle masses,
unless it is black, unless you call it African,
there is no freedom here for you.”



  1. Monique this is awesome – so intense and captivating! It’s a wild story, perfectly written so you feel it just as much as you see it clearly in your mind. It’s poignant, but with underpinnings of hope. (Not sure if all this is what you were going for, but it’s what I got!) And even more amazing since you told me a little about your family last week! Looking forward to Part 2!

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