African Diaspora / March 2017 (Issue 35)

Sweet Plantain: A Love Letter to Africa

by Nina Atimah

How I miss your heavy rains
The kind they tell me is good for sugarcane
The smell, the sound, the full, round drops
For whom are we growing all these crops?

How I miss the strong black arms
From the Lagos boardrooms to Volta’s cocoa farms
Arms raised for protection
Arms now raised in protection

You know I miss those Ghana braids
They kept me looking sleek for days
Kiss me with those lips, full and thick
Somehow him wanting my body makes me the trick?

Like a soldier at war you keep praying me home
Like a soldier at war, I keep feeling alone
Motherland, fatherland, mother...and land
Land in my veins beyond sun and sand

I know I miss that soft, supple skin
Decked in Ankara, Kente and my African Wax print
What do they see when they look at you
Through lenses of greed, is it servitude?

How I miss my sweet plantain
Growing in shadows of oil stains
Treasures on treasures in your earth
Daily, some fools still question your worth

A cornucopia of beauty, colors you’ve never seen
From Tunisia to South Africa, and all that’s in between.
Like a soldier at war you keep praying me home
Like a soldier at war, I keep feeling alone

 Nina Atimah is a watcher of cartoons, a friend of chocolate and a lover of sunny days. Willing and able to dance to any Michael Jackson song, she is an advocate for cultural diversity and an activist for all things African. Born in Nigeria, Atimah has been writing poetry and short stories since she was eight and publications have ranged from the high school bugle to her mom's refrigerator. New to Hong Kong and working in financial services, writing now happens between the unspeakable hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., ranging from delicate haikus to verses that challenge and provoke. When not at work, Atimah can be found 'not hiking', struggling to learn Mandarin, in church, boarding a flight or exploring Hong Kong. Above all else, she remains filled with faith and hope.
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.