Return of History
RETURN OF HISTORY
William Ellis aged 12, son of Qualquey Assedew
from Guinea, baptised in Stroud in 1801.
Through tumbling hills and gardens our train draws in.
The station might be Adelstrop — but here
girls cluster, the uniform maroon,
straight necks with Afro coifs, their talk intent,
and my heart bounds — before revolt at what comes back
online — Most students of white heritage.
These girls would shake that school — I love being black —
fuel the truth that brings new shame at mansions
from slave owner wealth, broadcloth for redcoats,
trade for slaves worldwide that draped these slopes
in crimson, blue, for Oriental rule —
lights pride in those who rose as activists.
Bolts break, long silence yields and ricochets
a different reckoning, within these hills.