"They too had a dream that
one day their sons, daughters,
grandsons, granddaughters ...
might pursue prosperity &
happiness in this land."
Well perhaps not Ben ...
perhaps while 10% of their
chained compatriots died around
them in the dark, shit-filled hull
of this heaving slave-ship they
may well have dreamt of home,
of family, of safety, warmth, of
the basic human right to dignity
& freedom & an ability to simply
walk through life going upon
one's business without the threat
of armed traders carting you off
to other lands ...
perhaps they dreamt of that,
& perhaps upon arrival & unloading
& a brutal harsh sunlight & a reckoning
of those you knew who'd died & been
thrown to the sharks & an examining
of teeth & body as a horse at trade
while upon a block as folks whiter
than you shouted out in strange
tongues & your wife & child were
elsewhere & your whole life was at
that moment in cruel & tragic collapse,
you might have thought of other things
rather than ...
Oh lord, yes, yes, one day I'm going
to be able to make a buck in this Land
of the Free and Home of the Brave ...