Brown Skin

By: Tyree Jackson

Fire hoses attempt to wash away
blackness as if underneath their
brown skin held white bodies’ hostage.
Scorching days in the field glistened scarred backs
as the winds carried their songs to God.
Flaming bodies hang from trees, many trees
by white hooded ghosts of the night—but no one
sees that their souls took flight to heaven,
no one sees them at all.
This skin, brown skin, it is
said to be tainted with sin and because this skin cannot blend in
with the bodies of white men,
this skin will wear and tear from nooses and police bullets.
This skin will bleed from the
whips and bruise from prison chains,
until all what remains are the stories of our struggles.
Our ancestors gave us this skin, brown skin,
in order to continue from where their bodies
had once fallen.
So we were chosen and won’t admit defeat,
until this skin, brown skin, can walk on
mother earth without dripping blood onto her soil.



This poem is very intense, and one of the reasons why is because of the imagery you use. You have a great skill, using simple words such as "skin" and "blood" but making them mean so much more, helping to make this a great poem.

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