For Maya…

On the morning you passed, I dreamed your pride.

A room full of us singing.

No instruments            just our voices

our words

our smiles

our nerves.

Faces of myriad hues             waiting to connect.

Hearts cording,

creating a web of hopes and fears.

It is mercury, you see             binding our hearts in inevitable communion.

We push         through nerves.

We resist from fear.

And then you died, and once again, you remind us how much we love.


The twins have blessed us this morning as your journey began.

We talk in droves.


Where were you when

Still I Rise

entered your temple?


I was a young brown girl, beginning a different journey then.

My voice          still a whisper, fearful of being seen.

I found you and I remembered,

I am phenomenal.

Heart full of hope and joy, i rise from the shadow of my ancestors’ pain.


Now you are with them.

I see you singing songs.                     Remembering what you did.

Remembering what they did.


Madiba is waiting for you

with tea prepared, happy to have a friend with him so soon.

Amiri is laying a cloth at your feet.

The design is green with turtles painted in harmony.

He has words for you                        mercurial in form.

You had to know the moon would carry your words today.


The spider came.        Now is the time, your web complete.

You are inside us as we walk our walk,

with remembrance

no honor in simple talk.


I see the glitter as your hips sway to the sea.

Full as the sun moving

toward the horizon.

You turn

smile one time with eyes full of grace, and nod.

It is our time now.

You’ve finished your plate.

Now we must clear it,

and prepare the next meal.


© 2014 Alea Malay Woodlee

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  One thought on “For Maya…

  1. Jaymie
    May 28, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Alea. It is beautiful. I caught myself sigh and realized that at some point, I had stopped breathing. She and your ancestors will love this stunning tribute my beautiful poet friend.

    • May 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      thank you, jaymes. i love you. ❤

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