We Mourn You - Poem by Francis Kokutse
We have looked and looked
but the waves do not show us
any sign where these people left
you and we would never know
because they never left anything
for us to trace you with.
It was a hot afternoon, so the
henogah amousou sings today
when the men who came with houses
that walked on the seas took you away.
So we your grandchildren only hear
of you in songs and do not have
anywhere to go and mourn you.
Kpende, the man who faced lions
and showed he was a man of valour;
grandpa, the praise singers say it was
you who held the people of Abomey
in spell when you returned from the
journery on the oceans only to pick
your pipe when the strange men came for you.
They said you were the only man
who could throw down many in your
days and it was only you who could
turn days to night, yet you allowed
these strangers to take you away.
We your children mourn you
even though we do not know
where they kept your remains.
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