Drops of Color/ Pickin’ Cotton…

Drops of Color
Pickin’ Cotton

From the bowels
of wooden vessels
draping the ocean
carried against their will
taken from their native land
ripped from mothers’ arms

they sang

Their groans
were hymns rising above
the clanking shackles
chaining them, one to another
hid-den below deck

they sang

When they reached a new shore,
paraded they were
like livestock.
They were forced to learn
—NEW ways
—another language
—an understanding that 
they were being ‘offered’
a better way

they sang

In the fields,
 the sun blazing
and
the ‘felt’ strike of a whip
on their backs
—hungry, thirsty
they worked, served

they sang
while pickin’ cotton…

Beneath the starlight,
they gazed upon
heaven’s dome trusting
the eyes of loved ones
past and present 
looking upon them
Ubuntu
(I am because you are)

they sang

their song echoing 
through pages
of recorded history
and sung
note, after note,
after note

they sang.

 

Celebrating Black History Month

 

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