A Poem by Tayi Tibble: ‘My Ancestors Journey Wit Me’


a black and white photo of the road and the cloudy sky seen out the front window of a car, the mirror taking up the front of the frame
Bromberger Hoover / Getty

My ancestors journey wit me.
They twerk on the roof of the Uber
as I’m pulling up late to the celebration.
They gasoline me full tank and
yas me within the mirror
as I summon them out of me with
my mascara wands and glitter and
each time I draw my eyes on
Nana you encourage me
to maintain my chin lifted upwards,
my eyes filling up with stars.

I do know I stroll on
salt blood water tears.
I do know the earth has been
crushed down and made gangsta
however generally, e hoas,
I simply wish to celebration
.

My ancestors journey wit me.
Don’t inform me what they’d do.
I do know them higher than you.

I sat within the lap of my great-grandmother
till the flax of her couldn’t take it.
So she unraveled herself and
wrapped round me like a blanket
and at her contact the privilege of me
was a headrush as I remembered
making attire out of sugar packets,
my bro getting blown up in Forlì,
my grandfather commemorated below one tree
regardless that he pressured himself into our bloodline
after which deserted me and me and me.
My mom saying go
marry a white man
you deserve higher
so I left
the bone leftovers of residence
understanding that in two generations I’d be known as
an Oreo and my tooth painted into crimson brick,
two mouthfuls of crimson roots and boiling water
for dinner, for nearly each dinner, so
once I’m out with my mans consuming
an costly hunk of no matter
my ancestors and I share
the identical style and you may see it
in our smile so forceful it splits
the space-time continuum.
Bizarre flex I do know. They taught me that
all the universe is malleable and mine to mildew.

Let me mildew it of their picture.

My ancestors journey wit me.
Don’t you dare inform me what they’d do.
I do know them means higher than you.

I’ve recognized them
since they had been a 5-year-old
who was informed on her first day
she couldn’t play as a result of
she wasn’t the precise shade
however the different children didn’t know
that she was truly a witch,
a direct descendant
of tohunga and had
transformative powers
and in that occasion
their hex turned a spell
and it modified her into
an immortal factor,
a jaw, a whale, a knot
constituted of her grandmother’s hair,
and in that second
she realized that life
was not going to be truthful
but it surely could possibly be
ferocious and forming
if she surrendered herself
to the brown, crying, clay.
She knew that at some point
she would make one thing,
puoro, gourd, vessel, physique
of water inconceivable sufficient
to hold all of them.

My ancestors journey wit me.
Don’t inform me wtf they’d do.
I do know them means higher than you
and I do know the wild
number of issues
they needed to do
to get me right here,
some voluntary,
some pressured,
not all of them
tika or textbook,
postcard or fairly,
however God!
Aren’t you infatuated
with the nerve they’d
to think about me
and make it occur?
You may’t inform me that
my existence isn’t something
however the existence of our previous magic,
our previous methods, our bloodlines,
our belief within the river,
after we first hopped in that
souped-up waka
and seemed up on the stars like
u bought me? They usually stated
arduous
so now

I’m more durable than a scrum of mountains.
I’m present like I’m water.
I whip just like the wgtn wind and
I’m hotter than the solar.

And my ancestors journey wit me
like dawgs. After I whistle
they run and run and run.

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