how to make an African blush

for Celestine, Noel, Boomie & Obinna

it begins as brightness under skin
a blossoming of heat
visible in the earlobes
& softening just a little
the corners of the eyes
so they crinkle
into almost smiles

all of you tell me
it is difficult
to make an African blush–

I disagree

it might be trickier to see
& it cannot be done
with flattery
or smoothness

a sly wink
when someone tells you
you are beautiful/handsome/hot
those things

that turn white people
into strawberries
are too obvious

it is only the truth
that softens your faces
into vulnerability

when I say
your words
my solar plexus
& chime me

that’s when you admit
that internal blooming
which is so much more beautiful
than seeing it easy
in scarlet

***might not be true for all Africans, but for you four–c’est vrai!

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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28 Responses to how to make an African blush

  1. archcardinal says:

    Now am blushing that ‘invisible’ blush…hmmmm… Now I know the scientific approach to blushing :D.

    Lovely evening tonic for a hard day in the kitchen (I forgot to mention… Cooking is one of my hobbies. I made afang soup. Ask Noel to describe it)

  2. Obinna–fitting that you were the first to respond to this, since your comment was the fourth straw (and the last one) that finally tripped that wire in my mind and inspired this poem! So…thanking you for that, and I will ask about the afang soup–I love to cook, but have mostly stuck with Asian, Italian, and middle eastern cooking (crazy about Lebanese food and my kitchen is a hummus mill lately).

  3. now, this one got me, half smiling, eyelids fluttering and nostrils slightly softening!
    Beautiful poetry, Susan. I wait for Boomie and Celestine to describe their own emotions and motions!
    Afang soup – still trying to get a handle on that one – my speciality is Ofe Owerre!

    • Awww–you retweeted! Thanks–must mean you liked it, a little. Ofe Owerre, eh? What goes in there? Somehow I am guessing one of the above recipes, if not both, involves some yam-pounding (which, forgive me for saying so, sounds like a double entendre). Now, putting my incorrigibly naughty mind to the side, glad you liked this–the idea for this one has been simmering for a while, and Obinna’s comment last night just kind of made it all fit together, so I am glad you enjoyed!

  4. Lovely words, blog.and post, thank you for share for us with love maxima

  5. unfetteredbs says:

    this is great and so true Susan. Wonderfully soft and loving

    • Thanks, Audra–and it’s true–flattery will get you nowhere, but offer up an honest reaction, and…well, the poem says the rest

      I thought a fellow strawberry-blusher might appreciate this 😉

      • unfetteredbs says:

        haaa yes. Sigh oh blushing is a terrible terrible infliction. Both of my daughters inherited it. You know it would be one of THE top things I wish I could change about myself. It truly is painful

  6. boomiebol says:

    Blush blush blush…this is wonderful Susan

  7. Oh Susan, this is so much funny and beautiful at the same time and I am laughing and yes you do make me blush, all the time. I do turn into a blackberry 🙂 not tomato or strawberry. 🙂

  8. Chenayimoyo says:

    It’s the heat underneath the skin
    And I wonder who the four are…
    I do blush , strawberry red… But my brothers and uncles go blackberry. Their smiles ain’t fake either.
    So true. Love it!

  9. Recognize two, the chief and boomiebol

    • The other is a lovely woman from Ghana–she has some amazing poetry out there, Celestine does, and Obinna is an extremely talented young poet from Noel’s hometown, where I guess they just grow fantastic poets 😉 click on their names, it will take you to their sites.

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