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The People Could Fly

The people could fly -
See them rise up, a cloud of locusts
or more a host of scarecrows in suneye?
Wind flapping against their
sunworn dresses and tattered shirt-coats

This brethren who lived a life
of saltless endurance.
No slave-food - saltbeef, saltfish,
to blight their blood or mock the freedom,
the heady helium gathering slowly in their veins.

How closely they guarded thcir levitational-mystery
How calmly they carried out their earthly duties

And now it's lift-off time -
See them making for the
green open hilltops
with nothing but their faith
and their corncobs?

Hear them singing: One bright morning
when my work is over I will fly away home.

The people could fly.
Look! Look, how they coming, Africa!
'Goodbye plantation goodbye'

Written by Grace Nichols


Grace Nichols Poets Page