Stolen and Sold

Stolen away from their homes
in the cover of darkness.
Chained and shackled
speared and killed.
It makes no difference to those with the power-
these people are chattel now-property.
Thrust into the hold of a ship,

eons away from home.
They know nothing-
not this strange language

nor these strange habits.

They can only seek comfort by
retreating within themselves.
They whisper in a language
that no one else knows.

Finally, the incessant rocking stops.
Those that can rise from above the carnage
of those who couldn’t-

These are the strongest of them all.
These are the ones who hung on.

Fathers look for sons.
Daughters look for mothers.
All hoping that their loved ones are there-
The air fills with cries,
wails and sobs

laments and moans.
It is a daughter here,
a mother there.
That family over there?
That one will never see their father again.

But what they do not know
is that soon-

they will be taken from hands that hang on.
That soon-
the bonds of love that kept them together

will be shattered apart.

They are cleaned up-
as best as possible
and forced onto a stage.
They stand there unknowingly and alone,
before a gaggle of geese,

all here to watch the execution.

One by one, they go through this strange ritual,
families torn apart,
hearts broken.
Until the day-
Thursday the third Day,

of August next,
is over.
Ninety four prime, healthy negroes,
consisting of

thirty-nine men,

fifteen boys,

twenty-four women,

and sixteen girls.

Ninety-four souls.

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