Something is burning in the Iowa hills.
As we move down the pewter river,
color of our ashen skin, we see smoke,
but don’t understand its meaning.
We travel this river, its hard weather,
as if to travel south is to travel
from ourselves. This river and these hills.
Even if, in our songs, and in our bones,
we long for
another river, a great river, many rivers:
Wolof, Fulani, Kisi, Hausa, Zulu,
Mende, Yoruba, Ndebele,
Mandinka, Kimbundu, pidgin,
Creole. We did not lose our tongues.
Listen to Monica Hand read “Along the Mississippi”
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