A Poem Called Freedom
(Reflections on How To Stay Free While Black)
Keeping my head to the sky
I will close my eyes
And listen for the sparrows’ whistle, the rivers roll, the trees whisper of their journey to freedom.
As the wind wipes my tears and holds me near
I will embrace the gift of this breath
1-2-3-reverence and wonder
1-2-3- guilt and fear.
Deep down I seek and reach for hope and healing
For every Black body that couldn’t
But left their names for us to remember
The unknown surrender
Of our final moment on earth.
I pledge allegiance—to my soul, the unwelcomed one of America
To seek soft landings, safe circles and sacred community
You are worthy of love, care and protection
Remember The One whose affection
Was blood-bought and redeemed for you too—to be free.
I stand tall as the noonday sun
Stretches out each ray of light and provision
I claim with intention.
Each one of my grandmothers’ prayers tied close to her breast
And even those unfound—stuck deep down
In a lost and abandoned cedar wood chest.
I want it all got receipts y’all
Here claiming all my benefits and rights to liberation
Cashing in the full return of peace, joy and blessings
No more stressin’ or pressin’ to be validated by the white stare.
Standing with both feet anchored—confidence now unearthed
Tried, true and grounded
I declare FREEDOM.