Words of History
Prompt: Write a history poem.
The Legacy in My Lap
Blue-black memories stroke my mind
as you tell me stories that were hidden
from our roots and fruits of life.
You pause in between memories of a
single cross scorched by the peach tree
your grandparents planted one summer in
memory of their first born.
The same tree where your Uncle Henry head hung low.
You were nine at the time
and like everybody in Baton Rouge---
nobody knew the price of ole Henry’s blood
or how your brother's face greeted the waters
of the Mississippi River Delta.
You said nobody knew but the devil that
haunted his soul and the angel that prepared a
sweet chariot to swing him home.
Your worst enemy was Jim Crow.
Your greatest memory was Ruby Bridges;
‘cause all you wanted to do was learn how to
count and spell so you could teach your people.
Reach your people. Heal your people. Through God’s words.
You tell me the tables are turning again.
Be cautious of the wolves.
And to forever hold your peace.
And all I could do next was sit here---
with a legacy in my lap
and wipe your history of tears away.
The Antiquity of Our Love
I Used To
Without hesitation and fright,
wholeheartedly, I used to lie
my heart down for the world.
Now, I naturally select my feelings.
So Past Tense
Some old ones
and some new ones,
say "let the past be the past".
I say let the past be known.
So we can resolve what has
never been deciphered.