This ode to Prince was inspired by a visit to his hometown Minnesota last year in May following an invite by the Still Water and Oakland Middle schools to teach poetry to the 5th and 6th graders for two weeks. During one of the evening tours of the cityscapes, I visited Minneapolis and took a walk across the bridge over the Mississippi River.
As I watched the glowing sun sink behind the twin city, I thought of how amazing it was to be walking the same paths and go to the places that Prince frequented; his favourite record store where he got his LP collection, 25th Avenue where the movie Purple rain was shot and the streets of St. Paul which I bet knew him by name. This poem came to me that evening.
An Ode to Prince
The city streets in St. Paul open their arms
as monuments look up to worship the heavens
the sun’s tears fall on river Mississippi
as I cast a stride across the twin cities
to behold the Ank of a Prince
whose purple rain
is now caught up in the orange clouds
I look up wondering if it will ever rain again
it would rain again
3rd May 2019
At the end of my two-week teaching tour was a poetry performance night in which some of the kids I had been teaching, performed their own pieces. I got to perform this poem for the first time to an audience that sighed at the significance of a Kenyan based poet finding a poem that resonated so much with their hero and musical icon.