Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gbanabom Hallowell - THE CLAUSTROPHOBIA OF EXILE: African Poets Writing in the “Wasteland”

In the spring of 2004, I returned to Maryland from Vermont and was immediately greeted with the news that my mother out there in Sierra Leone, West Africa, had suffered a stroke and had become speechless; two weeks later, she died without uttering a single syllable. Her death brought a lot of questions to my exilic mind. My mother died in her early sixties. She was a robust woman who had only lately been humbled by the depression brought about by Sierra Leone’s ten year war. As a child who provided for his mother until her death, I was supposed to be the son to physically lower my mother into her grave and put on her the first piece of dirt under which she was then supposed to lie in eternal peace. Yet here I was in exile, thousands of miles away, leaving the body of my mother to be buried by the sons of other mothers.

from: Sea Breeze Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writings.


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