Song for the Ancestors

By: Tiera Sandiford


I have seen how a mother knows endless love

For the child she has held only once

The way she is spellbound by someone so new yet primally familiar

I admire the beauty of this love

And have found it for the people who made their homes in the heavens long ago


They are the ones who have given me their broad nose and soulful eyes

As a most precious parting gift

Those who fought for scraps of liberty

While whole nations pinned their arms behind their backs

So I could know the freedom to dream a thousand dreams

And write my name in the constellations

Like a mother

My love for my ancestors is infinite


It is the power I need to heal my sisters and brothers

Of the traumas that follow us from the womb like birthmarks

A promise of the most unbreakable sort

To write the stories my grandmothers kept hidden

Beneath pillowcases and in gardens and tightly woven hair

I will sing them from the mountaintops with each rising sun

And let the winds carry the sweet songs of my ancestors

Forevermore