Liberia takes everything back. The land, the people. They are all seemingly swallowed, digested, and then sprout anew. Be it the banana peel I throw beside the trail to my house. The next day I see it brown and trampled. in a week it is gone. Eaten or carried away. Ground into the earth to replenish new bananas and other greenery that sprouts in its place.
A dead roach, belly up in a corner on the floor is carried away, piece by brown papery piece, by an unending legion of ants. In their wake they also carry forgotten or overlooked crumbs, discarded egg remnants. Whatever can be taken and that the earth doesn’t seize first.
It is true of houses…left standing idle, sun baked bricks gray or brown against the lush greenery of the Liberian landscape. And when the plants don’t take it – Papaya tree sprouting in a doorway, unknown vines creeping through windows – new occupants do. Building behind, beside, over what was already there. Dismantling. Or adding on. Reclaimed.
Even the people. Especially the people. Liberian ex-pats who fled the war or followed love or education. They are folded back into society beside the former soldiers, politicians, tribal leaders, history, culture, religion. All of it swallowed or planted and re-grown.
I find myself succumbing. Unsure of exactly what I’m discarding or what will sprout in its place…career, love, identity, words…Liberia staking her claim. A cyclic affair – she eats her own tail only to birth it again- something will fill the vacancy.

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