Oh My Behind
My behind was riding in my brain
My arms were attached to my ears
I was experiencing
Extreme queasiness because of
Mainlining truck fumes straight up my nose
Our Haitian limos
fumigated us with pure unadulterated,
Unpasteurized, unhomogenized
Diesel fuel as they jarred us up the mountain.
I pressed the back of my hand to my nose,
To smell my flesh
To find familiarity
It didn't help.
It's been 2 hours to just go 12 miles
From the small wanna-be pasture of an airplane runway
To the missionary compound where we would stay
My behind was riding in my brain.

We Stopped
Quick grab. Don't roll off. The truck sidled up to a long peach painted cement barricade. Out stepped a black armed GI Joe. He ceremoniously halted us, like a caricature of the little green plastic army men my brothers and I played with as kids. Like in an Indian Jones espionage movie, he motioned us in.

Surely my eyes deceived me…this does not compute. The time warp stood before me. I had just spent 2 hours, driving through utter devastation, abject poverty and human deterioration. But now, as if in a Cinderella fairy tale or in a slice of Nardia, I'm surrounded by an upper middle class colonial styled American plantation. The porch or veranda, if you will, was adorned by 4 women, a couple of teenaged girls and a younger boy and girl, all dressed in various shades of off white or dingy peach. A motley crew I soon came to recognize as our…for lack of a better phrase and shadowed by my limited grasp of history, there standing before me was our…quote-unquote…”colored help.” The house overseer, the cooks, and the laundry girls. A slice of America that I had never lived, but that I instantly recognized from my Colonial American history. However, it didn't seem to bother anyone but me. The other missionaries were tut-tutting and pat-patting and right kissing and left kissing, smiling, whewing and fanning as they exchanged “master/slave” pleasantries and entered our quote-unquote plantation home. My African American soul became like the fur on a cat's back that was being brushed the wrong direction. Naaaaaahhhhhh. Surely not. Say it isn't so...as I deliberately unloaded "my" own gear off of the back of the truck. While the quote-unquote “hired help” joyfully unloaded the rest.

America The Beautiful
I unpacked
My meager belongings onto the bed.
Items that seemed to reflect my inadequateness
I'm so ill equipped
No truth be told
I'm scared
Feeling real raw and tender.
I reminded myself that
I came from a long line of community activist
Leaders, movers and shakers, uncloseted Christians.
But that ancestral breed is dying out.
I'm the only one in my lineage carrying the torch…I mustn't fail
I can't fail
I can't let the torch burn out and even more so
I mustn't drop the fire.
It felt like tomorrow, next month and
The next year of God was depending on me.
I know God will forgive my shortcomings, but will Haiti?
I sat in the middle of the little prison like bed
Surrounded by my
American familiarities
With both hands over my face
Sucking in deeply the smell of me
I began to feel a little better from the vomity
Physically assaulting truck ride.
I fingered my Wal-mart blouses and Goodwill skirts
Proof that amongst all of the strangeness that
“I exist”
My vulnerability prompted me to think of my daughters, Erin and Diamond.
I could feel the cry coming on, my legs began to fold on the bed into a fetal position
I took deep loud breaths to distract my tears
Oh God I'm scared
No!!! Back I say back!!! You are not allowed!
What would your brothers say?
“Ya big cry baby!”
I found myself whisper-humming (out of all the millions of songs in the world)
“hmmmmmmm, hum-hummmm, hum hum hum hum
For purple mountains majesties, above the fruited plains…
Aaaaaaameeeeeerika, aaaaaameeeerika…God shed His Grace on theeeeeee" I began to sing louder, "and crown thy good with brother hooooooood …and crown thy good…with brotherhood
A huge alligator tear bled onto my Wal-mart blouse.

“I'm here” the voice said.

Oh Jeez... snot starts to roll, did I remember to bring Kleenex?

I had no clue what to do or how to be. So I did something my Mother would have, let's just say, greatly chastised me for. Something Mother would never have allowed. I wiped my snotty nose on my sleeve and I jumped up an down on the bed, singing loudly, and I didn't care what the other missionaries thought Aaaaaammmmmmeeeeeeerica, Aaaaaameeeeeeerica, God shed His Grace on theeeeeeeeeee...

Der Druck dieses Buches wurde vom Autor nicht gestattet.
Setzen Sie sich bitte mit dem Autor Yolantha Harrison-Pace in Verbindung, um das Buch zu erwerben.

It is not allowed to print this book.
Please contact the author Yolantha Harrison-Pace to buy the book.