I’m Going Home!

I have seen pictures of the red earth but now I get to walk it.

I will see anthills taller than my head. And hear birds whose names I do not know.

I’ve heard the names of family and loved ones but now I get to hug them!

It’s almost too good to be true.

I will see the hospital where I was born and the city that held us until our departure.

I will walk with my mom through her school yard.

I will see the trees that look like someone has sat on them.

I will see a new set of stars. I will see a different set of skies.

I will be surrounded by a language my tongue did not learn.

I will walk.

I will see The Smoke That Thunders. I will feel it on my face and feel the freshness on my skin.

I wil be surrounded by family. I will be loved. I will be home.

Home

i need to see the atlantic ocean from angola’s shores

to walk the red earth of zambia’s roads

to be dwarfed by massive anthills

to have the sun on my shoulders

i need to go home

i want to see the land from a different lens

witness the mighty mist of the smoke that thunders

greet my cousins, aunts, uncles in our language

to be somewhere unfamiliar yet home

i need to go home

to the hospital where i was born

to see the testament of a civil war

from my dad’s homestead

to the land my mother fled

i want to go home

to see my roots instead of hearing about it

the leaves on trees i can’t yet name

hearing bird songs, new to my ears

let’s dance! teach me a song

let’s laugh! tell me i’m doing it wrong

take me home

to the constellations i’ve never seen

to the wind that cools me

to the hearts and love of a family who i left that zambian summer for that canadian winter

a lifetime later, is never too late

to go home

-Ndeshimona