The Return

— Roger Robinson

At first they couldn’t tell what the slow moving cluster on their radar was.
Amorphous dots that were perhaps whales moving, inching slowly across the Atlantic
gathering mass. The dots were getting larger, shifting shape constantly but still moving
forward. Perhaps a shoal of sharks, a collection or a migration reckoning? There was a
growing worry that it could be a developing tidal wave or an impending disaster. They warned
the Ivory Coast to brace for the worst. Thrill seekers looked out on the coast where they saw
the sea boiling like mercury for miles. That is when they saw their heads; hundreds of Black
heads looking at the shore from the sea. Drops of seawater dripping from their noses, ears
and chins. Some with thick matted hair, some with long beards dripping. Then as if in a
funeral march they started coming ashore ritualistically one step at a time. Hundreds,
thousands, no—tens of thousands arrived with faces that looked like masks, some broad
shouldered, some slender framed, all completely naked, all with the blank stare of pain.


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