with the certainty of tides

| May 29, 2014

maya angelou - Google Search 2014-05-29 02-42-47-1

“still like life, i rise”

                                        —maya angelou (april 4, 1928-may 28, 2014)

© 2014 omowale-kétu oladuwa


there is no apt word when your mother leaves.

she’s been there bracing your back so long

her absence is tidal, a tsunami

breaking on a flimsy eastern shore

like cool damp days in autumn, when leaves have fallen

and color is fast fading.


“with the certainty of tides”

you recall

tho pensive in the throe of death

her lafter and the wit of her, the cocoa brown eyes

and touch of arkansas.


the giving spirit that knew death but never knew a vacant day.

the powerlifting throat of wisdom

that raised the faint heart

and stilled a child’s fear.


mother was all woman

a once-caged bird that sang

she danced in hotspots

and served as prostitute and madam in dives

to make her spirit manifest.

magnificently brilliant, sleeves rolled up

lilting lady on the frontline.


maya angelou of generations past,

present, and yet to come. no ingénue, no longer mute.

like the malcolm and martin

you knew so well, you will never leave us.

in your dizzying flights of stardom

poeting and advising presidents and savants


none could ever mean as much to us as your stand

on the frontline for justice and human dignity,

or straight talk in low-lite hallways

on 16th street, and in the alley with the thug of us.


thank you mother-sister-daughter-auntie-woman,

poet, jelimuso, keeper of the truth and flame of us.

you threw open the caged door

and sang, and we will never, again, let another

swing shut on us.

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Category: Entertainment, National, Special Reports

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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