Master, Savior, Jesus
By Alexandra R. Felder
I was dragged here in chains to be your companion, not your plaything
Sold on the block as a child
Bought by your father as a gift
I was meant to be your friend,
Not your secret
But everybody knows
When you put your hand on the small of my back and lead me to your bedroom
They see me and think I am a traitor
Do not touch this continent
I am not a thing to be conquered, not a thing to be claimed
You cannot stick a flag in me and call me your own
I am a nation, I am a people, and I am the motherland
And you are not worthy to lay hands on the fruit of her labor
A thousand times I brought that blade, and hid it away in my shirt, holding it,
Ready for the moment when you rushed me away.
But every time my chance came and I wrapped my sweaty palm around the handle my sanity stopped me.
My sanity always allows you to do it again.
But how easy it would be to plunge it into your chest when you least expected it.
And over again.
Until you felt what I feel.
That first time when we were just teenagers and you led me away. I didn’t know. I trusted you so I never thought you would. I knew you but not the you I know now.
The you who drains the life out of me.
The you who crushes my dignity like glass with your claws.
The you who spits out my name like a dirty obscenity, a byword.
The you who lusts after the glory of Africa, eager to explore her mountains, her valleys, her oceans, eager to exploit her riches.
You never ask for what you want, you take it. you steal it.
You do not answer to any man.
You do not answer to any God.
Yeshua, punish my enemies. Show yourself mighty.
Every tear I’ve cried returns to Africa,
like little letters of love.
I’ve written about you a thousand times.
Words, trailing rivers down my cheeks as your fingertips leave third degree burns on my skin.
I hate you more than I hate the devil.
Perhaps you are the devil.
I’m down on my knees begging again for yeshua to free me from bondage. How long will you watch? How long will you wait? Why have you forsaken me?
I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Where is my comfort, my rod and my staff?
Are you like any black father, abandoning his children? Abandoning my mother. Africa loved you. Hear your people. Hear my cry.
After every time he says the same thing.
“I love you” and kisses me on my cheek
Oh that it were true.
Oh that you did truly love me enough to leave my body.
Too many times I’ve rubbed my skin raw trying to erase you.
The type of dirt you leave does not wash off.
No matter how many times I’m baptized,
I am still ebony black.
I am still the color of the darkest midnight, devoid of stars.
You snatched those away long ago.
Yeshua, give me a sign you can hear me. Give me a sign that you love me still. My world is crashing down around me.
Their Jesus hears their prayers.
But what of you? Where are you?
Maybe you are as they say.
Blond hair, blue eyes.
Maybe you look like my master.