Homecoming: A Poem

by Crystal Senter Brown

For Laura Nelson, and now Sandra Bland.

I am more
than this noose tied around my neck
as I am hanging

I am more
than my dead son next to me
his bare legs

but while my body
may have died that night
my spirit continues to soar
and take flight

even as I plunged to my imminent death
calling out for my
Father as I took my last breath

and oh, the crowd,
how they celebrated—how they howled!
how their faces were twisted
and filled with hate

didn’t they know
I would escape this test?

didn’t they know
I am more than bones and flesh?

I am magic
and sweetness,
pure love
and blessings

can you imagine their surprise?
when the beams of light
poured down from the sky?

shining down upon that bridge
to my throne

carrying me
to heaven

welcoming me


This poem is in honor of Laura Nelson, who was kidnapped from her jail cell in 1911 and hung (along with her son) by a group of white men. I am now also honoring Sandra Bland with this poem.

Crystal Senter Brown is the author of five books (2 novels, 2 books of poetry and a children's book) including "The Rhythm in Blue" which will be released in the near future as a feature film. She has been featured in Essence Magazine, Redbook Magazine and Vibe Magazine. Find her online at www.crystalsenterbrown.com.