Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!
the woodsons of ohio
My father's family
can trace their history back
to Thomas Woodson of Chillicothe, said to be
the first son of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
this isn't so but . . .
the Woodsons of Ohio know
what the Woodsons coming before them
left behind, in Bibles, in stories,
in history coming down through time
ask any Woodson why
you can't go down the Woodson line
doctors and lawyers and teachers
athletes and scholars and people in government
We had a head start.
Thomas Woodson expected the best of us.
They'll lean back, lace their fingers
across their chests,
smile a smile that's older than time, say,
Well it all started back before Thomas Jefferson
Woodson of Chillicothe . . .
and they'll begin to tell our long, long story.
Written by Jacqueline Woodson
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