A Poem By Oumar Farouk Sesay

January 13, 2024
2 mins read

THE LOOK
 
By Farouk Omar Sessay
 
 
Saturday/Sunday, May 16-17, 2009.
 
“Many years later
I threw myself into the mouth of the crocodile
And discovered my long lost siblings at the
End of the century’s digestive process”
(The Chain by Gbanabom Hallowell)
 
 
To a white brother
In spite of                                             
 My Harvard degree
My suburban castle
My suave demeanour,
 In spite of
My pedicure feet
My manicure nails
I feel the chain of your look
Swinging to chain a slave
 
In spite of
The books hard backed with social justice
The civil right struggle
The million man match
The Rosa Parks
In spite of
The Oprah winfry’s
The Maya Angelous
The Martin Luther kings
I feel the look of contempt
 Swinging to chain
The ideals of equality
 
In spite of
The many years of bondage
The inhumanity of slavery
The crime of your ancestors
The Mississippi fires of hate
In spite of
The green backs from my toil bag
The bonds from my bondage
You still look for the burden of my bondage
 
In spite of
The censored language of political correctness
The civil right bills
The embrace of brotherhood
The kind gestures
In spite of
The Collin Powells
The Condolizas
The Barack Obamas
I still see your look chained to prejudice
 
In spite of
The preamble
That all men are created equal
In spite of Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation
You still look
For the branded limb of runaway slaves
I look back at your chained look looking:
 
for the chain
the branded limb, the slave catcher
the thorn ridden fields and the slave house
look beyond the loop of your look ;
 the chain is still here, tied to the ankle of your soul
clinking discordantly with the dangling  stump of your spirit
Yet your look could not hear the dirge
I am singing for you in the chambers of my soul
 
                           
 
 
 
And you my black brother!
In spite of the
The burden of the look we share
The call for the return to the mother land
The broken home stifled by your enslavement
The ancestral root
The Africa prefixed America
The kwanza celebration
The black history month
Am I the brother who sold you to slavery?
 
In spite of
The shared history of humiliation 
 My soul shackled to the chain of your servitude
The torture of growing with the cry of your anguish
Ricocheting in the borders of my soul
Am I the Judas who sold his brother?
 
In spite of
The common blood in our veins
The common pain of that look we share
You still hold a look of hate
For the brother who stayed
While you suffered the torment of slavery
 
But brother look hard beyond the facade
The shackle on your ankle is tied to my soul
The abyss of your servitude dug in my heart
And my arteries confluence to seas of middle passages
 
 
Then centuries later on a paid passage
I found you my long lost sibling scared,
Unshackled yet shackled by the look
The look hook the lapel of my soul
The pain a reminder of sibling’s servitude
Though my pain is a shadow pain your pain
When you lost the mother soil
I lost a brother soul
I endured their look but not your look
So brother don’t look me the look
 They look at me for looking like you.
 
Oumar Farouk Sesay is a leading Sierra Leonean poet. His poetry has been described as “…witnessing the ebb and tide of human struggle in a past and present that will never be a foreign country.” Sesay read philosophy at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. His latest collection is titled Salute to the Remains of a Peasant. He can be reached at farouksesay@yahoo.com
 

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