Reparations

A Collaborative Effort With walkerjo lee |Music: Jill Scott-My Petition

rage
Courtesy of Mwangi Gatheca|Unsplash

pay me for the many bodies slain
in cold blood at the hand of their
protectors for simply being alive
for walking down an unfamiliar street
for pulling out a wallet
for covering his child with his body
for revealing a water gun
for breathing air that is free in
a country that charges me for water
in a plastic cup bound to kill
me twenty years from now

for a woman knowing her rights
and unafraid to back down when faced
by fake authority
for gentrification
for replacement of all things familiar
in a neighborhood that needs complacency
to build it up during its struggle

pay me for scheming my ancestors
moons ago with slanderish tongues
bathed in honey
for neverending lies
for belligerence
for bigotry
for disguises in broad daylight
for the Ku Klux Klan

that will burn my community by dawn’s early light.

oh, say can you see?
for i am owed,
much more than can be repaid!

therefore,
i have the right:
to take a knee on any new age plantation field
to reject the bullshit that white supremacy truly is
to dodge PEACEkeepers that have a badge to kill

they serve money and the news/poliTRICKS and corporations have quotas and dues/bait trucks filled with shoes?

my country tis’ of thee —
WE the people, will lose.

i have the right:
to be this color face
zero damns left to give
sacrifice this lie that’s become a goddamn disgrace
still it questions the I in ME?!

i have the right:
to choose an alternate reality
to love and live.

i have the right:
to be this black moon

these copper colored blues
to travel with these autumn colored leaves
decorated in this auburn flesh
skin tones thick with tribe
standing with bronze feet in gold suns

textures of faith armed with all this love
they said, i couldn’t have/i couldn’t be
this speech, touched by godS/moved by ancestors/guided by winds

like, trees/ocean bottoms/creation
i ain’t to be moved

I AM owed!

i have the right:
to not have my skin rigged
a weapon against me!
how can i be victim AND criminal?!

fuck this place as a nation!
i have the right,
to be this color of pride

pay me, nation of forgetfulness
for years of contemplation and misguided ways
for unearthed demons in positions of power
for silencers and AK-47s and Mac10s
and the nerve to say we asked for it
pay me for everything I am due
and increase it tenfold

but, how do you put a price
on a dwindling race in a nation
that wants to annihilate it?


©Tremaine L. Loadholt & Walker Jo Lee, 2018. All Rights Reserved

*No one else could have written this with me. It came to me when it did and I immediately sent the draft to Walker. Originally posted in A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Thank you for reading.

 

Making Moves While Moving Minds While Striving To Stay Alive

Say boy, we make the decisions. I need all hands in the air. Tired and shaking. Shaking and tired. DO NOT SPEAK! Orders are shouted at us before we can talk some sense into our hearts…

Keep them from beating too fast. 

Before dawn, four of us lay sprawled out on a cold ground. Blood spilling from our heads. Mothers of boys cough on constant tears, voices held hostage. When can they speak?  Make room for empty promises and ignoramuses stepping on pointed toes. 

Give them an inch and they take ten miles, none of them green. 

I got 5 on the next incident that’s an accident that’s not really an accident, but they’re logging it as such as we count the bodies piling up. Killing us softly with more than songs. Your word is as good as your false teeth. Who amongst you will fight for an honor that is batted down at every turn?

Don’t you all speak at once. We can only swallow a few lies at a time. 

Make way for hardened hearts and stealthy forces. An untimely exodus is long overdue.