I woke up
I no longer felt tethered to their names
No longer had to say their names
Because, well my name mattered
I no longer flatlined when the Blue Light
Pulled over my black car.
I no longer flinched when Tammy
ghost -busted the walls of my personal space.
I no longer cared if “we all got along”.
I had no interest in the charred bones
hidden in Tulsa’s closet
I no longer felt the water welts on my outer thigh
I no longer despised the sight of water hoses
On fire trucks sirening by.
I lost my compulsion to doodle a
Young Emmit’s unrecognizable face
In my journals. Now there was white space,
And all the black smudges were erased.
I no longer felt the pinch of pain around my neck every
Time I passed through underground railroad country.
Trees that beckoned to me, Stay awhile, sit under me and let me tell you a story
I no longer fell asleep to Araminta’s freedom songs.
I no longer could smell the stench of traumatized pheromones
Choking me at the bottom of the whale’s belly.
I no longer suffered flashbacks of disappearing ships
From the seashores
That I was sure
I would never see
I no longer bore the scars of a nation.
I woke up
I no longer held in my chest the heart of Genesis,
The beginning of everything black, brown, olive, red and
I no longer felt the war cry of Yaa Asantewaa
gushing through my veins
pulsing beneath my skin.
No longer did I glimmer in Ghanaian gold,
The origin of Black Girl Magic.
I no longer drank from the cups of
Black Panthers or
I no longer kept metrics like 755 home runs, 2,297 RBIs, 6,856 Bases
Hail to the Hank!
I no longer was married to the miracle of Barak,
Or the phenomenal-ness of Michelle.
I was no longer uncontrollably
possessed by the djembe
Or any syncopated sound
Like the tick tock of double dutch ropes
Or the bip bap of basketball drills.
I no longer donned divinely designed dresses of darkness
Past down from grandmothers Dorothy and Mary
I woke up
And I was
Poem written by Miss Kiane
Words on Wednesday’s writing prompt from Facebook writing group: Poets, Writers and Creatives: “I woke up and I was not (fill in the blank with your nationality of origin or what you identify with) anymore…”
(c) 2022 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED THIS POEM MAY NOT BE COPIED, DUPLICATED, OR MANUFACTURED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.