Saturday, February 21, 2015

A poem a day for 2015 - day 52 - Black like me

I am proud of my black
My biscuits and jelly
My gravy and rice
Of my head high as I traverse through murky streets

I'm about black life

I am proud of my hands
Way they hold babies
Assist old ladies and men
Way they lift the fallen shoulders
Of my friends
Way they reach for help
When my own stories are too heavy

This is my black
I am honored I was reared a black girl
Skilled at hopscotch, double Dutch
Swinging ponytails and the boogaloo

Can you dance through pain so sting
Your blood stops flowing
Can you sing the blues
Do you know the dead like I do
Can you hear them whisper as they
Hold your head
And guide your path

Do you know Harriet and Sojourner
And women from my church

Do you know Obatala and Osun
And the elders that I know

I am proud of my black
Of my people around the world
Of the dancers and architects
The healers and barbours
The teachers and singers and artists

Sun people
Land people
Dirt people
Clay people
Like me

This is my black
These are my feet
Carry me through hate and fire
To redemption and love

My knees unbuckled through
Bigotry and dogs
Jim Crow and bullets
Trees and rape

My thighs
My back
My neck broken and rebuilt
Ready for dance and war and win

My belly
Birthed all these babies
Bleed over all this land

My palms held high in praise

This is my skin
Like rock
Like ocean

I am proud of my back
My soul
My hair
My fingers
Placed together in prayer

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