John F. McCullagh (09/28/1954 / Flushing)
The Door of no Return
There is a place on Goree isle-
It's call the house of slaves.
A port of call for slaver ships
whose crews no saint could save.
The captives of defeated tribes
here caught last sight of home.
Borne down by chains on
feet and wrists, crowded yet alone
All would pass one portal-
the door of no return.
Into the holds where many died
and more wished for the same.
They'd lose their language and their kin
and any hope of home.
They'd find a place beneath the loam
they'd work a lifetime long.
Stronger than the Indians
whites worked until they died
Their labors built a Country
in which they took little pride.
Yet they knew the day was coming,
in the year of Jubilee,
When the shackles would be stricken off
and once more they would be free,
Poet's Notes about The Poem
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