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Hold Your Head Up

First draft, first full poem from National Poetry Month


Hold your head up, kiss the sky

When they threaten to rape you with their eyes

With their lies

With those economic ties

Hold your head on high

When their sanctions

Threaten your existence,

Your revolutions

When they keep you locked in 1960

Walk with criminal conceit

Display in your protruding lips

that notion

that your fathers built this

and your protruding hips

birthed this

And everything came out of your loins

Walk like the Earth herself

has awaited your footsteps

Don’t let them tell you nothing

When they riddle you with bullets

Laugh and say, I soar above your social illness

Your psychosis

Can not genocide my essence

I’ve had it for galaxies before your stolen gold

Mined from my ovaries

“I dare you to eliminate me”

Laugh and point to the lilies that spring

Emerging from your ashes sowed in to the soil of minerals


Like they never took you from those shores

Chasing you through thickets as you weaved

The thousand year old trees

that spoke to you in prophecies


And shake all of your miscarried babies loose from your loins

Set them free

to float into heaven’s eternity


When they rape you with their guns

and emasculate your sons,

teaching them to rape your daughters

Dance like they never stabbed their way into your blood line

Like they never breeded you for auction lines


Like they didn’t take your offspring from your hands

Sell them off to unknown lands

Like they didn’t destroy everything you ever had


When they clutch their bags in elevators

Persecute you with electrocutors

Act like they never ripped your skin

When you slather on that cream

Like they never stole your crown

When you pull through that pick


In spite of the bleeding oil

and fratricide

In spite of orphaned teen mothers

and coltan mines

Don’t mind that they abuse you

Curse and use you

Don’t bother with their theft of hoodoo

Don’t bother when you look in the mirror

That they’ve called you filth and crude

Severed and groomed you into missionaries

for capital usury

At devil’s impunity

Recognize the soil that gave Earth her bounty

in your hue

The light that gave darkness retreat

in your view

Be haughty, be bold

Be ridiculously golden

In telling your children

the stories untold

Put your chest out

Hips back

Flex all the way down the street

Strut like you own it,

For you are the mine beneath your feet.

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