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My Lover’s Vibe


I am a young girl and crying to a neighbor woman because my boyfriend left me for a beggar. She says, “Baby, you did not understand his vibe. He left you and came to me.”

All of the older women in the neighborhood come out of their homes and stand on tall ladders. Their very long skirts drape over the ladders and this causes them to appear monumental, towering above me and in a circle with the trees.

Their instruction to me is to chant after them. They say, “We are Dahomey and when a man leaves we do not ask him why.” And I chant the response, “Weeda.” They say, “Because we are Dahomey when he returns, we always know the reason why.” And I chant, “Weeda Weeda.” We sustain this exchange for a long time.

When the call and response chant is over and my heart is healed, the women tell me that I am now ready to understand the vibrations of coming and going, staying and leaving, taking and holding, receiving and giving.