Sunday, November 15, 2009

2nd draft - freedom poem

We, who have never been.

“miss, that’s racist!”
they say, without knowing
how deep the puncture
wound really goes.
our lungs are collapsing
as we search for breath
but pull in water and wool,
our eyes swollen from salt
that has never flavored
our own distaste
for another race.

they call us free
but my heartbeat
contradicts the simile:
freedom is like an eagle
soaring upon the
crisp, November wind.

this has never been.

we live in meter and time,
spill out our own
rhythm and rhyme, and
sta –
to –
or a sick syncopation
or simpatico
is always suspect.

tell me
about freedom

i want to hear the fiction
we paint on the backdrop
of our lives to cover up
the true story.
these lies we hold to be
self-evident, i am pleading
for evidence of our guilt
to be brought before
the court, for the broken
backs to be bandaged
in retrospect.

but we turn the cheek
to what we see
and retell the story
that we’ve been trained with.
let freedom ring, as if its ever
filled our avenues with its
beautiful song, of sorrow
we know, of free we can
only hold onto the bars
and hope.

everyday a siren sounds
to pull you over, you;
the usual suspect.
everyday a block traversed,
a stop and search,
tear you down on
every corner uptown because
you are young, black and
obviously dangerous.

what did you know and
when did you know it?
tell me about the first time
the dream had a crack in it,
had a rip and tear so small
that you just swear
you could overlook it.

this dream deterred
has never been built
on a belief of equality,
just a borrowed billboard
slogan to help us buy
into our own brand
of bigotry.

(still sounds awkward to end it this way... i'll be posting it to my students this week on IPG to elicit their help!)



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Unknown said...

hilarious that this is the comment on my freedom poem.