by Mwatabu S. Okantah

she was a humble teller of the told story,
Ophelia Settle Egypt was her name.
Egypt, in this strange land,
this skyscraping wilderness land;
no pyramids, projects
white-promised here.

she journey'd deep south
into heartland,
into blackbelt USA,
looking for those to tell her
what it was like
to be enslaved.
she journey'd into this century
looking for those
who remembered, looking for those
who lived to tell:

and, they told her,
"I have seen the men chained together,
I have seen wagon loads of children."
told her,
"I been sold four times
and drank up once."
told her,
"We stayed there a year after the freedom
'cause we didn't have the sense
to know we was free."
told her,
"Mus'tell yo'children's children."
told her to keep our story alive,
slavery days did not destroy us,
we have survived.

this new Egypt settled in the heart
of our bitter journey's
rhythm time;
from Gold Coast villages
to brick bush slums.
this black woman Egypt settled
in the womb
of our mystery's riddled rhyme,
she kept our story alive ...

      Ophelia Settle Egypt

Egypt by Mwatabu S. Okantah

© Copyright2000. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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