Harriet’s Torture


In the middle of my downward moment I see something that makes me wonder…

Did Harriet ever really think she would make it

Whippings marked bare back naked

Unable to push nor pull another mule

Undone moments away from insanity

Restricted shoulder to shoulder amongst rats and men

Holding in torn apart pieces from ravage beast

Chattl’d from one hand to the next

Disabled by seizures, hypersomnia, and migraine headaches

Temporal lobe epilepsy

I wonder when did Harriet get tired

Unable to be sold one mo’gin

She simply said

“There is only two things I have right to, liberty or death, so if I could not have one then I would have the other”

Having to leave her brothers for the sake of a greater cause as she walked across Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania

Even checked her own hands when she reached free land to see if she was the same woman

It is at this moment that I recognize to give up is to disrespect her spirit

Ignoring the graves of Southern trees bearing strange fruit

Leaving Emmet’s casket open but allowing him to be slain in vain

Forgetting the names of Nat, Douglas, and James

Before Langston, Sterling and Zora

Telling Mom’s Mabley she could not have that mans last name

Making it ok to pay tribute to these great names by dipping that hatred in rap hooks that hide their chains

We Willie lynch ourselves on traditions developed to keep us two steps to the rear

Developed a deeper sense and still can’t hear

Jezebel nursery rhymes behind hypnotizing drum beats

Wondering why the more they’re fed our children still don’t eat

Hormone meats have our daughter’s breast hanging before their feet but we still can’t see

We ain’t sold the cow because we’re giving away it’s milk for free

Bragging on a history that blazed trails but we still ain’t paved a way

Zora been said most us “color’d folks be branches without roots”

Steady floating and drifting but ain’t caught on

We busy selling our soul for riches we’ll never own

When God’s grace is the biggest gift we could ever get

I imagine Martin done wrote 50 mo’ speeches on the inside of his grave

Tired of rolling over from our disgrace

We’ve thrown ourselves into a place of slavery gone backwards

Fought for our freedom just so our fears could recapture it

It is moments like this that I see Harriot digging through the valley  so she could climb that mountain

tripping through ditches

having to look beyond her sight to see her vision

knowing that deeper than the white man, Satan was truly the root of all evil

I wonder if she knew that we’d break through being a diamond in the rough

just to encase ourselves in stone

I mean concrete

I mean pride

Suiting up our bodies to battle but not shielding our mind

Too busy blaming others to see that we’ve been our own Goliath the whole time

I wonder if Harriet would have turn back around dropped her head and picked back up the plow

took those whippings in buried defeat

If she’d known we be our own biggest enemy

Steady headed off to battles but not ready for war

Preaching for change when we’ve made church the biggest whore

From Griots to Pastors, we’ve ruined the whole lot

So what’s the use of having bad apples when plot rotten seeds

I mean if you were Harriet, what would you have done

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