The Sun Rises

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The sun rises.
Our bodies rise with it
We work in the fields.
Time
Is
Everything
The numbers will be picked
By the stroke of the hour
At the demand of our Master
With the pace of our calloused hands
The heat will be sweltering
The cold; numbing
Our breathing will be labored
But our hearts will beat.
They will beat through the whippings…
Beat through the pain...
They will beat through the tears that will stream down our faces.
Washing away the dirt
But not the sadness
And our legs will collapse
Our arms will ache
Our fingers will bleed
Our children will cry
Our women will be raped
Our men will be sold
But our blood will still course through our veins
And we will raise our voices in song
Though the work is hard
And the cotton keeps growing
And the white men may tar us
Cover us in feathers
Brand us with ownership
Shackle us while we sleep
Steal away our children in the night
Sell our mothers, fathers, and siblings
Our eyes will burn with the light of a thousand suns
And our souls will not be crushed or poisoned
We will hear the drum beat
Back home with our ancestors
In the African Kingdom
Where the golden sand
Means freedom
And the color of our skins
Means nothing
But “the content of our character”
Means everything
We have been traumatized
Uprooted
Our beings have become profitable
But our minds are not valuable
We pick their tobacco in, North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky
We grow their rice in South Carolina
We work in the cotton lands in Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama
We are the engine that drives the plantations
We are the hope that drives one another
Bananas, sugar, oranges and coffee
Out- value us
Quality soil
Out- prices us
The threat of violence
Forces our hands to work from dawn to dusk
If we falter
If our eyelids droop
They will burst our blisters
And rub them with turpentine and red pepper
They will beat us with bricks,
And our bones will break with every strike

We shall not murder them
Or burn their barns
Or kill their horses
We are slaves
And slaves are nothing but property
Our spirits are strong and we will rise
Not with the sun
But with our passion
And our will
Our will for freedom
The beat they will hear will not be from their whip
But from our hearts
We shall never forget
But we will forgive
Because we are one
And we have forever
A long time for our wounds to heal
And our tears to stop
For our women to feel safe at night
And our children not to be sold
And our men not to be beat
Our time will come
And we will be ready
Slavery shall end
Slavery must end





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SilverSnowflakes said...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm

This is a good poem, though I would have liked it better if it ended with: And the color of our skins
Means nothing

Because that'd be a bit more dramatic. Your ending works, too, though :)

 
MeganSeesStarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm
oh thanks! it was for school so alot of that stuff after means nothing had to be there like the punishments and things
 
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