(14-2-1957 / Tamilnadu, India)


Before my father came to the throne
there was chaos in our double kingdom-
from the Great Green Sea on the north
to the land of Nubia on our south.
Men without breasts love war.
They measure their height
by the mountains of severed hands
piled up, cut from their enemies.
But I saw our land laid out in peace:
Thebes, the southern city, the horizon of earth
stretching east to west
and the fecund river cleaving the land
south to north.
Sun and moon
sail from east to west
across the Nile,
from life to death
and back again.

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

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