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May 23, 2024
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I Am Accused Of Tending To The Past by Lucille Clifton

i am accused of tending to the past
as if i made it,
as if i sculpted it
with my own hands. i did not.
this past was waiting for me
when i came,
a monstrous unnamed baby,
and i with my mother’s itch
took it to breast
and named it
she is more human now,
learning languages everyday,
remembering faces, names and dates.
when she is strong enough to travel

on her own, beware, she will.

Still On My Mind

Painting: “Still On My Mind” by Kevin Wak Williams

I Am Accused Of Tending To The Past is one of my favorite poems. It sums up who I am and all that I do, especially here on Kentake Page. I first came across Lucille Clifton in Black Women For Beginners by Saundra Sharp. Clifton’s poem, Listen was featured on the very last page of the book. At the time, I was a performance poet, and history was the theme of most of my poems. This poem sparked my curiosity about Lucille Clifton and it is how I came across I Am Accused. I immediately felt in love with the poem, as history was my favorite subject in high school (I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica and now live in London, England). In high school, I focused on Afrikan-Caribbean history but films such as Roots by Alex Haley opened my mind to ourstory beyond my island. When I came to London at 21 years of age, and read The Autobiography of Malcolm X it was the moment that I embraced this past that was waiting for me and took it to breast. Now I see myself as a Pan-African history blogger.

Both paintings featured are by Kevin Wak Williams Visit his website.

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