Sobonfu Somé Alice Walker Garden

Sobonfu Somé

You left us on the day women all over the world
Are rising.
Well, you rose too, sweetest
Of sisters.
You rose and I can see you smiling
As you returned to the village
Of Dano.
The ancestors
Who, as they are wont to do,
Asked far too much of you,
Are there to receive you.
I hope they are!
For how were they to know
Into what poverty of spirit
What deeply injured soul space
They sent you?
You were sent to heal a people
Who do not even realize
They are unwell!
Oh, my sister, whom I loved
The instant I saw
Your sweet smile,
Far too much was asked
Of you.
And you, being Sobonfu,
The light of the village
That raised you,
Tried to do every single
Thing they said
You must.

We, here in this blighted land,
Could see this.
You saw it too, but it did not
Stop you.

You told us we needed to weep,
To cry, to moan, to roll on the ground
If we felt like it
But by all means
To express our agony
That we are so lost.

But where were we
When you were lost?
Lost in the loneliness and vastness
Of your task.

Forgive us
That we did not know
How to be better sisters
To you.  Better brothers,
Better sick Americans.

When you enter the village
You are safe again.  There will
Be sufficient tears, crying out,
Rolling on the ground, covering of heads
With ash.

That is my hope, anyway,
Blessed healer of our people
All our people,
Returning so soon
And in this abrupt way
You leave us
To demonstrate
All you taught us
About grief.