The Long Arm of Slavery

Molecular memory,
this may inform
the long arm of slavery.

The past
reaching relentlessly
into the future.
Those who were once deemed “master”
carry the seeds of feeling superior-
better than those they enslaved:
the men shackled and emasculated;
the women relegated to nannies and maids,
their dark bodies laid open
to cavalierly invade.

Trauma being made
on and in both sides;
a slow
imperceptible
suicide.

When will we finally realize…

 

Waking from a Deep Sleep

I am

waking

from a deep sleep,

wondering

Where am I?
What is it
I had to eat?
How did I get here
to these beliefs?

I rub my eyes

as I try

to make sense

of what has become complete nonsense.

I hear the ancestors cry;
they ask why?

Why are you and your kin moving back?
Do you not realize this is a slap
in the face
to those who were brave?
Don’t allow our sacrifice and pain
to have been made in utter vain-
wasted blood, sweat, and tears
over the course of hundreds of dark years!

Wake up from your deep sleep,
the antecedents weep.

It is now your turn to learn
that freedom ain’t free;
it is your sacred responsibility
to the past, present and future
family.

America

“O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me. And yet I swear this oath-America will be!” Langston Hughes

 

My country

strives to be

a sweet Land of Liberty,

a Crown of Beauty,

from sea to shining sea-

an example

a beacon

to other countries

and peoples

to witness

the possibility

of beloved community

amidst vast diversity,

of justice

amidst adversity,

of kindness

in the midst of such plenty.

America,

this grand, young experiment

in democracy-

governance

of

for

by

We, The People.

Still struggling with its meaning,

back and forth, we go;

to and fro,

from the high

to the very low.

Another birthday,

America 

tentatively celebrates,

expressing gratitude

for what is good.

While also cultivating

a firm commitment

to manifesting

for all

that which is

honorable,

innocent,

hopeful

within the

imperfect,

complex,

uncomfortable

experiment

that gave birth to a nation

of immigrants.