Sonia Williams


We came together
you and I, came together
we were taken by force together
one by one by one by one
we were chained, neck to neck
in a line,
we walked
we walked
we walked
on each other’s footprints
we walked
we fought
pulling each other along
we fought
we were slaughtered
we left the dead unburied.


Murmuring prayers
we waited in the dank dark precipice together
mouths stuffed with metal, we swallowed
fear & shat horror where we laid
screaming inside our wombs in our grief
in our longing for home…
we were beaten we were beaten we were beaten

sipping the salt of decay 
we journeyed together across the body of
SHE that is more than all of us, with our song of hope
we died side by side, in limbo
we were bought, we were sold & born again 
in Jesus Christ.


We worked from dawn till dusk
Massa took us from dusk till dawn
& we worked some more, still
 we laughed, we loved in a moment that is forever
we bowed our heads while they took our sons our daughters
and nailed our pain in the truck of a tree,
umbilical rites of belonging.


Now I give myself to you
& yuh beat me yuh beat me yuh beat me…
Don’t you remember when we walked together?
Don’t you remember who I am? Don’t you remember?!

Now yuh throw me in a well
and sing a song of lies!
“Millie gone to Brazil
Oh Lord!  Poor Millie!
Millie gone to Brazil
Oh Lord!  Poor Millie!

Wid de wire wrap round she waist
and the razor cut up she face.
Wid de wire wrap round she waist
and de razor cut up she face.”

Sonia Williams was born in Barbados in 1967; she migrated to the United States in 1979. A Watson Fellow to Nigeria in 1989, she returned to the Caribbean 1990. Sonia has worked regionally as a director, performance artist, educator, and researcher in African Caribbean culture. A writer of prose fiction plays and poetry, her work explores personal, historical, and social issues within forms of Standard English and Caribbean nation-languages.