Sankofa Love

She had a smile like the sunrise,
Bright and ever-rising
Wide as the horizon,
A light so mesmerizing
Its warm rays flowing up the peaks of her cheeks,
Traveling to the depth of her brows
Then descending into the coast of her eyes:
A heart-shaped path
To where her smile was most alive
A Sankofa to remind us to never forget
To go back to her smile when the world seems dark
To return to her laugh when the silence is too stark
And to recall her many lessons
When moving forward feels too hard

Her laugh was a permeating song
Like an echo in a canyon that you wish would never fade
Like medicinal music,
A salve for the soul
She’s each whisper in the wind
Singing “I will always love you”
She’s the flicker of a flame, the ripple on a lake
She’s in every word we speak,
In every breath we take
Her earth-toned spirit has the purest seeds
So plant them as memories
And turn them into trees,
With her wisdom as branches and her lessons as leaves
Her love in each blossom, her soul in each root:
The more you remember, the more it grows fruit
So although she’s not here, we’ll remember her past
And know that through our memories,
Her love will always last.

To my Aunt Vanessa. With love, always. Sleep in peace.


  1. Michelle Cyrus-Brown says:

    What an absolutely beautiful tribute that captures the spirit of Vanessa. She had such a beautiful smile and aura and it is evident just how much she was loved.
    This is really sweet Roz!

    Aunt Michelle.

  2. Keri says:

    Thank you for sharing so beautifully and openly. Sleep peacefully, Aunt Vanessa <3 My love, thoughts, and prayers are with you and all those who knew & loved her.

  3. Kennita says:

    What a deeply touching and wonderful tribute to your Aunt Vanessa. Somehow you gave amazing voice to the essence of her wonderful spirit, incredible wisdom and her great beauty. She had such a wonderful smile. Your words warmed my heart and brought me to tears. I am thankful to have known Vanessa.

    Aunt Kennita

  4. Debra Doncov says:

    When I first met her but a few years ago
    The smile was unforgettable glad that she had people in her life that loved her so much
    Thanks for the heartfelt poem

  5. Ruth says:

    As I read this beautiful poem, the tears can’t stop flowing . . . but I will always “recall her many lessons, When moving forward feels too hard” . . .

    She will always be my best friend. . .

    Love Mom

Leave a Reply