The NPE Tree

Ackee (Blighia sapida) a fruit tree native to West Africa Ghana. When it ripens it turns from green to bright red, to yellow-orange, then splits open to reveal three large shiny black seeds.

My people get caught up in surnames.
Family crest are nest,
that they try to claim.
They get trapped like a pest,
to the flame.
They’d rather claim to be a D.A.R.
or descendency from an Indian brave,
then to claim descendency from Prisoners of War,
anyone but who they are,
sons and daughters of slaves,
or their entire lineage dates,
to king Henry the Eighth,
rather than Ramses the Great,
they get drawn to a name,
like a moth to a flame,
claiming descendency,
to an insect
of a most venomous kind,
who showed their kin
little leniency,
(Their DNA shows
a Percentage of ten)
while their documented ancestry
claims to be broadly European,
as they move like bees,
through their family foliage,
their family trees,
my people suffer
For lack of knowledge,
of their entire forest,
which extend
only so far,
until they reach a dead end.
Descendancy they claim
to the branch,
when they don’t share the root
of the hybrid plant,
and I cant be ashamed,
because of the triangular trade theft,
I have done the same,
followed the path my elders left
through a forest,
of dark shadowy faces,
without a name,
like a hybrid stolon,
planted in water
without roots,
A diasporic daughter,
from the garden stolen,
having seeds bearing,
a strange fruit.

4 May 2020 by victori Bass

This poem is for so many of my DNA relatives who have a family tree linked to their profile which doesn’t match their ethnicities and regions and who claim to be wholly an ethnicity that doesn’t appear in their estimated regions.

4 thoughts on “The NPE Tree

  1. You said that so well! I have been of the very same opinion from the very start. I say nothing, but I avoid those trees that take you back to Jesus…

  2. “… relatives who have a family tree linked to their profile which doesn’t match their ethnicites and … claim to be wholly¬†an ethnicity that doesn’t appear in their estimated regions.”

    Sometimes it’s un-vetted oral history. Other times it’s a complete deliberate fabrication.

    Phototaxic; now there’s a riff worth exploring!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.