Friday, January 07, 2005

When I am not Enough

I wanted to tell you I miss you, I need you.
will you assure me that I can do it, am beautiful,
capable and strong? Will you hug me and hold
my hand or swing me high on your shoulders
like when I was small, six years old, responsible
for reading books upside down, eating quartered
tuna-fish And cheese sandwiches and riding
every carved wooden carousel horse, completely
oblivious and ignorant of impossible dreams?

Didn’t I want Seattle University, the Honors program,
to travel the world and to be independent? No matter
my place, I want to be somewhere else, living a life
that doesn’t exist for anyone. Why do I dream of home,
friends, routine And familiar comfort when I will never
swelter in African heat, be lovingly incapacitated by brown
arms encircling my neck, waist and legs, listen to them argue
in Twi, sing or read, sway to reggae with a baby on my hip,
squash yam and plantain between my fingers, be so close
to believing, be spontaneously proposed to, feel the breezy
tro-tro air or follow the squiggling trail of ants and delicate
butterflies caught in the roadside grass again?

I wanted you to tell me I could change The world but I’m
not strong enough. Another dream, empty, misconstrued and failed
falls In the line of them, marching and fading into life’s horizon.

Name: Christopher
Grade: 9
Age: 17
Family: Only child living with mother, abandoned by father.
Interests: Music, volleyball, trumpet, drums, high jump (can clear six feet)
Other: Doesn’t like playing with other school kids. Mama Lisa won’t pay his 20 dollar school fees anymore. He can’t afford school shoes or books and all he wants is a disc man or play boy so that he isn’t so bored at home. He has never been into Accra.

Tell me, how can I possibly spend my money on souvenirs, trips, clothes, anything extra when there are kids like Christopher. How desperate you must be to point blank ask a white person you barely know for her disc man and CDs. I shouldn’t have troubled with coming to Ghana. These people don’t need me, they need money and I haven’t a solution.

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