FOLLOW YOUR OWN LINEAGE
“Follow your own lineage,
the way of your ancestors,”
that’s what they say.
“Which ones?” I answer
thinking myself clever.
(Through my veins runs
the blood of many.)
It is fashionable, in some circles,
to talk of this.
But, after all, we are all of mixed blood.
For some you will have to go back a long way,
digging in the earth, excavating for ancestors
among the ruins.
Blood ingredients that name
your ancestral forefathers and mothers
can be tested for now.
At least that’s what I’ve heard.
It wasn’t until I was a grown woman
that I learned of my Afro-American blood,
(or is it black)?
What else would the test tube reveal?
Another clever thing I say is,
“Follow the way of your heart,
that is the most important thing.”
Through this heart runs the blood
of many nations from many continents.
I am happy for this.
Different parts of the earth run through my body.
To say that the earth is not part of your body
is like saying you don’t exist.
If you don’t know this,
we have nothing to talk about.
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