Our melting was never documented

on the census We never did find out

how our Great Grandfather made his way


from China to America

to work the railroads then made a home

near the black water Ogeechee river


Africans Black Indians Black Chinese

Great Grand Dad claimed the last name of Raspberry

then named his beloved daughter Georgia


No one remembers Georgia’s Mama name

She’s described as a mean Geechee woman

No one left to even claim they remember


Georgia up and married a card-carrying

Cherokee by the name John Washington

John and Georgia Raspberry had four children


Harriet my Grandmama said we be Geechees

of the African rice growing tribes

and female governed nation of the Uchee.




Harriet loved and married Wallace Brothers

from Holly Hill South Carolina where

Cousin Bernard said he once saw a graveyard


Where everybody claimed the Brothers name

Headstones for what look liked miles and miles

of Brothers Birthed, raised and buried by midwives




Great Grandmama Julia is listed

as inventory in a Georgia plantation

ledger kept down at the country clerk’s office


her indigo-stained hands worked the osisi pea plant

till she and John Brothers half black half Irish

run off to Florida with their three kids


to live on the land John’s daddy paid for,

Julia quilted snatches of blue cloth

and told her young son Wallace of her mother’s


Igbo family stories from Africa

stories Wallace followed as a grown man

Harriet and Wallace’s oldest girl Wally Mae


Married an airman from Mississippi

He turned eighteen on a battleship

bound for Japan and the Korean War


He is my fatherand his name is Moses