by Natalie Patman-Deas
God of Recompense, my spirit is grieved…
There are no colored boys who are allowed
To ease the crystal stair of American fancy.
The wood-bare ladder that has been unceremoniously afforded to you
Is seemingly bereft of angels.
Where is your portion of good?
Do they not know – are you not a child of God, too?
I do not dare look upon
The empty cradle in your eyes.
Your innocence has been snatched by those who slither
With calculated stealth.
In the nocturnal hour they swallow our young whole.
Who will inform the scattered remnant
If little Jeremiah is snuffed out as our lids are drawn closed?
Why is my subconscious beset with genocidal nightmares?
Woe has become me.
A man child slain before his prophetic voice is able to reach a rich bass.
We are a forgetful people,
Amnesiacs with unknown magic in their skin.
The beast knows this.
So it devours you in the night my Abel as me and Adam sleep.
My ears bleed at the sound of a hissing hushabye– POP POP POP!
Woe has become me
Lull me no more America
Lull my black boy away from me no more.
Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning.