Saturday, April 30, 2022

With The Poise of Runway Models: Ghana's 'Madam Queens'

"Madam Queen"

Strong Black sister
Madam Queen
Carrying the weight
of the world
Beneath blazing African sun
Head lifted high
Back straight
Baby in tow
Wrapped in African cloth
Staring off
Into the haze
Of traffic
And this pressing crush of humanity
Without vanity

Madam Queen
Walks poised
Neck erect
Sidestepping gracefully
Sandy holes
Earthen souls
& Craters
With runway model precision

I listen
To the beat
of their hearts
To the whispering
Of their souls
That long for homes
For some place
To lay their heads
Besides tin huts or streets
At night
Upon unforgiving beds
With no pillows
For their heads

Madams Queen
Lying beneath
The stars
that honor their day-long strenuous labor
That does not yield
Enough for sustenance 

And still,
They rise
When morning comes
Arising to a new African sun
That pales in comparison to the glory
Of the splendor
I see
in Madam Queen
-John W. Fountain


Portraits of Head Porters

Accra, Ghana (Photos: John W. Fountain)