I am a Slave.

Who am I?
A brown girl?
A tall girl?
The girl who changes
her hair often?

Who am I?
The introvert?
The intellegent one?
The sarcastic one?

Who am I?
The Mock Trial captain?
The future judge?
The lawyer?
The new Atticus Finch,
but without the kids
and special anatomy?

I could spend all day
telling you what people call me.
Peers, friends, superiors, teachers.

I could spend about ten seconds
telling you what I call myself
on any given day.

It changes.

I'm like a tree,
at least I like to make the comparison
to change the previous insult to
a positive trait.

That's neither here, nor there.

I'm like a tree.
I can grow.
I can be chopped down.
Either way,
my roots stay the same.

What are my roots?
I could say in Brooklyn.
I could say my father.

I don't know if I could consider him a root?
I guess I can.
His absence taught me
much more
than his presence could have.

When I grow
to be the strongest oak tree
I can possibly be
and drop some acorns,
I might be ready
to explain that root.

What are my roots?
I could say my mother.

My mother is Crystal.
 She wears all her emotions
right on her sleeve.
None. She's too smooth.
I mean quarts
of her love
could be considered a root.

If you asked me,
I'd say my root is slavery.

No, I don't have a chip on my back.
Still, doing nothing all day,
complaining about the government,
and waiting impatiently
on my forty acres and a mule
does sound appealing.

No, my world's been too
well sculpted for me
to ever be waiting on
something that'll never come
since I personally didn't work for it.

My eye level is not parallel
to the single eye level of the environment
that produced me.

I know that I'm shunned for this.
I'm not locked out.
Yet, I'm not invited in.

Maybe, I need to set aside my goals.
I need to risk my own life
in order to save the lives of others.
Pull my gun out
and point them in the direction of success
even though I know
I'm going to go back the other way
They'd respect me if I was
Harriet Tubman.

Maybe, I need to get captured.
I need to get sucked into a world.
When I try to leave that world,
I need to be caught.
My options need to be limited.
I need to cut off the very foot
that will help me reach success.
They'd respect me if I was
Kunta Kinte.

Maybe, I should acquire a dream.
A dream that I would love dearly.
Then I need to kill.
Kill everything and anything
to reach the dream.
I'd call myself a bounty hunter
and I would have a partner.
That item I loved so much
would be surrounded by white stones.
What would be my tools to chisel away?
My dynamite, a horse, my guns, and my vintage coat,
Of course.
Oh yeah, they'd love me
if I was Django.

I'm not any of these people.
Who do I have to be instead?
The slave master.

My whips
are my words.
My ability to speak in a language
that they claim to speak
but haven't cared to learn,
cuts them.

My cotton
is the closet of clothes
from a different planet.

My fields are
the streets of which my feet
are well acquainted
but to which my mind
is not attached.

They don't know me.
I'm my own slave.
I'm my own slave master.

I have the North on my left side.
I have the South on my right side.
I mean the wrong side.

General Grant whisper in one ear
while Stonewall Jackson eavesdrops.
Stonewalll Jackson puts his
formation of letter against my eardrums,
so General Grant tunes in.

I'm my own civil war.

The whips?
My own language
that I can't interpret
cuts the back
of my mind.
Yet, I still have my words.

The cotton?
The dainty, soft thoughts
I pick
and put into a basket
with the rest of my screaming dreams.
Yet, I still have my closet.

The fields?
The vast areas,
on which the cotton is grown,
are the places that give the
of my mind
the most stress.
I can still walk the streets.

I don't know who I am
because everytime I travel
back to my roots,
I get slavery.

It gets hard to deal with sometimes.
Then again,
I don't mind
all the whips,
all the cotton,
and all the fields.

As long as I'm not chained by
my economic,
my social,
my racial,
and my cultural circumstances
since I didn't choose those.

Please, don't take any of this literally.
After all, I'm illiterate.
I am a slave.





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