Can we live with all her power?
The wide, curved hips, knees to the ground,
armbands high on the rounded limbs,
courage in the shoulders,
the babe cradled in the strength of her arms.
And her head!
Three ropes of hair, the crown so high,
a consciousness wide as the whole village,
a knowing big as Earth herself,
full of song, stamping, full of dance.
Muso Koroni, the earth goddess of the Bambara,
“pure woman with ancient soul.”
And what if whenever you came to your village,
she greeted you?
Her greeting: You have power too!
Woman my own, my future, you,
womanchild for whom I suckled babes,
fruit of my breasts, child of my pain,
daughter of my countless days,
You! You have this power,
and I’m here for you still.
I, who have given birth to all life,
mother of all things, both tame and wild,
Babe, I suckle you. Know this!
All the power in these muscular thighs
you carry with you still,
daughter of my tears, gem of my years,
progeny of the yet-to-be,
rooted, earth-bound, dark-eyed, wild, wise.
April 15, 1996
Listen to a live performance of "Muso Koroni" from Annelinde's concert, "In the Mother Grove" (2009), available for sale at the Buy tab. The poem is read by Deb Scott with marimba accompaniment by Sue Ford.