Golden Skin

I dream of eons of folklore.

I dream of the words, told unto my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.

The rustling of her sisal skirt, the walk to the lake, the time spent at the farm and the hopes she had of every sunrise.

But, even these dreams I have are nothing compared to the life she lived…

How would I know?

I dream of eons of folklore.

The world where my great-great-great-great-grandmother danced at sunset,

Her waist a thing of beauty, men could not dare touch it or take their eyes off it,

Her skin, golden, supple and her eyes as rich as the black cotton soil they tilled.

She was the breath of beauty, an epitome of love, but duty and child-bearing dimmed her smile.

How would I know?

I dream of eons of folklore.

The world where my great-great-great-grandmother stood by the shores of Lake Victoria and watched the Queen Victoria ship dock…and she knew nothing would ever be the same.

Her words were not to be uttered for their tongue was better, more approved,

Their god was stronger, mightier and even so, he had a book written about him,

What about Obongo’ Nyakalaga?

How would I know?

sitting woman holding to stick broom during daytime
Nate Greno/

I dream of eons of folklore.

The world where my great-great-Grandmother boarded a canoe to cross the lake and visit her people, but the lake having known how she labored to give love and received none, swallowed her up…and for years her daughter would weep by the shores, begging the lake to send back her mother.

For what’s this world without mothers?

How would I know?

I dream of eons of folklore.

The world where my great grandmother, a thing of beauty, a heart hardened by loss and intimidation would say that everyone in her line, her generation would never have to suffer for being female.

Oh, how she chased the men away, those who came to inherit her after her husband’s death.

Oh, how she slept with a machete beside her. Worked her farm, took her sons to school, or how when she died, it rained for seven days straight.

How would I know?

I dream of eons of folklore.

A world unlike the one my grandmother resides in, where everywhere she looks she sees nothing but pain and knows one book of the Bible better than all the rest: Lamentations.

Her golden skin…I peel for layers of who she was when I knew her,

Her eyes reminiscent of grey skies, dry rivers, drought and waiting…a certain kind of waiting that’s only known to her god.

But, if you see her god, tell her that I would like to talk to her…over coffee perhaps?

I dream of eons of folklore.

A world like the one I reside in that has seen the rise and fall of women, of skins that glow in the dark, thoughts that reverberate through generations, eyes that see the unseen, hearts that bleed over the lost souls…

Oh, I dream and sometimes when I close my eyes, my soul gets a nod from all these souls that have gone before me, and that is enough to scare me awake!

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