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  • Vilma Ginzberg

Rift Valley, Kenya, August 1989

Talking with a friend about the Black Lives Matter movement, it occurred to me that if indeed Lucy was the first humanoid, and she was found in Africa in the Rift Valley, and we are all descended from her, then we are all black.

This is a poem I wrote from the time I visited that sacred valley in 1989 . . .

as the last purple light of western dusk fades to black here on the south rim of this vast African valley I sit on the edge of the wide night watching it spread slowly and endlessly before me no light but numberless stars sprinkled randomly above defying gravity teasing the great dark with silver sparkle as if to deny its dominion silence as large as the onyx sky settles its blanket gently on the drowsy earth and peace lulls the beast in me as well as in the lioness opens its arms to the listening soul I feel the valley in my bones I am in its skin in its pristine wilderness its rough unhurried tests of life its primaeval unsentimental innocence from this unspoiled valley of original birth this vast enveloping ebony womb this sweeping swath of possibility I hear maternal grunts of my mother Lucy primal mother of us all echo through the eons past parades of civilizations giving birth to us all giving me life reunited with my mother I hear her soft primate lullaby waft on the low valley breezes I am in the original cradle I know all who ever lived and ever will as kin as family 

© Vilma Olsvary Ginzberg, 08/89

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