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Diasporas, Cultures of Mobilities, ‘Race’ 3

 | 
Corinne Duboin
, 
Claudine Raynaud

Rearranging Your Father’s Table

Manning Marable (1950-2011)

Melba Joyce Boyd

Texte intégral

‘Before I die,
I want to write
a box full of books’,
you said, and this
image becomes
a catalogue
inside my head
as years transpose
sites for industry
and I collect
your words
in my library,
and share in
your endeavor
while the vicissitudes
of intellect and tendons
of academic politics
mirror your visage
like of Frederick
Douglass’.

It is the night
your twins are born,
Sojourner and Joshua,
and so we talk
about legacies
and uncertainties,
like the challenge of
investigating race
and democracies
conflicted by class.

We exchange quotes
from Marx and Ida B.;
Frances Harper talks
back to Booker T.
while we reshape declining
unions in deserted factories,
and re-imagine revolutionary
fields in Cuba with Che
and Guillén then
transpose Dudley
Randall’s poetry
with Diego Rivera’s
mural inside a
Detroit Museum.

II

Enroute to Paris,
I hear of your death.
my flight is laden
with grief.
a carrier pigeon
observes me from
the hotel window.
a feather appears
on my sunken pillow.

I visit the crypt
of Aime Cesaire.
bells toll across
Luxembourg Garden
and tulips convene
in the passing
of eternal promises
reported in
Sojourner’s psalms
when we are again
led into battle
by Joshua.

I visit you in the
dream realm of
the afterlife,
where symbols
are configured
and encoded
as warnings
for the living.

You are busy
in the offices
of history.
your silver hair
entangles blue
space like the
mane of Douglass,
as you stroke
your chin
like Malcolm
seated next
to DuBois.

You are home,
rearranging your
Father’s table.

© Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2016

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