Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Juneteenth (Freedom) - an ekphrastic poem


"Freedom" by Kadir Nelson

*Inspired by the above artwork (Ekphrasis)


Juneteenth (Freedom)

You see these hands…
they knows the pricks from cotton leaves of this foreign land
You see these eyes…
they know the cries of 6 sons sold
One snatched right outta my arms, only a few years old
If you could see my back…
it would show you the pain from that day
When Massa Joe Redding took the only man I ever loved away
You see that there tree…
it knows the weight of his lifeless remains
He was a warrior from the Igbo tribe
His name was
Chidumaga, not slave
Massa called him Beast ‘cuz he couldn’t tame him with the lash
So he beat him bloody, strung him up and skinned him ‘live
to show us White wrath
You see that sun up in the sky…
it was hiding behind rain clouds on the day I called slave
My home is Ghana, my name is
Mawusi but he named me Camilla Faye
They say some soldiers come into town today with words
that we no mo' slave, but free
Free to walk away from all we know of this land
Free to just be free-woman or free-man
But where can I go?
I would like to go home but I come by ship
I scared I may die this time for the ride made me deathly sick
Ellis say North is best for free…
But how can I get there, I can’t read
Alls I know is cotton from sun up to sun down
Never even been to town…
Clara Jane say town is up the road and over yonder somewhere
I reckon I’ll walk with the others there
But I fear nightfall, ‘cuz I’ll have to sleep in the woods under the trees
With all the snakes and wild animals looking for food to feed
But I’z free…
So I’ll walk North at night guided by the brightest star above
I’ll walk hand to heart with Yahweh's guidance and divine love
I’ll make it North
I’ll just keep my mind stayed on thee
My boys, I believes they too is free
I’ll go searching the rest of my days for them
I hope they too will be looking for me




Tara S. Gause aka Poetic Goddess Tara Shenea
© 2009. All Rights Reserved
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