Our Story

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Our Story

Our story is round with a center that sparkles like a bride’s ring

If you place your ear close, you will hear chants and hymnals,

laughter and cries from those who know you

even if you don’t remember them

It has kinky hair when it is not curled, permed or relaxed

It rarely if ever burns in the sun

It loves the wide open sea in the summer

It enjoys the sounds of jazz, reggae, gospel and drums

It smells of cocoa beans, peppermint and green tea

It has limbs the color of bronze, caramel and mahogany

It shines in purple, scarlet and cream

The webs it spins are caked with candied yams,

cornbread and okra stew

Like a tarantula, it will bite if you antagonize it

It rejects the word victims

It walks away from drama

It can learn you and in the learning, it can love you

It accepts itself for who it is without apology

It remembers childhood dreams stolen by bullies, but seeks to

invent new dreams and fight for them

It is not bound by neighborhood, income level, gender

It has faith in the possibility of change

It cannot guarantee you a victory at trial,

only its presence, prayers and protests

© 2016 Jawanza Phoenix

 

Jawanza Phoenix is a lawyer and the author of two books of poems, I Need an Assignment and The Intersection of Beauty and Crime.

1 Comments

  1. This poem have layers for sure. It speaks layers such as memories of childhood, the idea of innocence of thinking the world is fair. However, realizing the underlining truths of reality. Although the challenges one can still triumph thru obstacles with faith, hope and values.
    Brilliantly written poem and moving.

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