Bliss Upon Freedom from Slavery, A Poem

Mama was in the kitchen
Hair pulled back
Humming a tune
While pots clinked
Smoke billowed
And the smell
Of her soulful cooking
Wafted through the house
We were home
No windows, dirt floor –
But we were home.
Two small children
sat at her feet,
one in pigtails
both in overalls
and we played
as if nothing
was out of place.
See, our lives
Carry tales
Long and deep
And we wear the scars
Of history on our backs
No longer the slave
But enslaved.
See, Daddy was loyal
And he wouldn’t leave
But mama,
It made her blood boil
She could never
Be held down
And that, right there
Will kill you dead.
So, while mama cried
And worry wore its lines
On papa’s face
He made way
For our passage
But he stayed.
Said he owed the man
For taking somethin
That wasn’t his.
So brother, mama and I
We crawled through
Dark corners of night
The howl of chasing dogs
on our feet
there were consequences
for trying to flee
and master was fierce
fire raged in his veins
and we –
we were nothing
but a means to an end.
We would follow
North star
In the dark of night
And mama would beg us
To silence our fears
And she feared
It all was a mistake
And she prayed.
We crawled, walked
and swam a distance
Fear cut its wounds deep
And we cried
On this journey
But one day,
we finally found home.
Today, mama is cooking
Supper is almost done
And brother and I
Play at her feet
And mama hums a tune
And stares out the window
Her song, a sorrowful tune
She always wondered
Why papa
Never found His way home
And tears welled in her eyes
We all felt his absence.
Yes, we wear the scars
Of history on our backs
And mama never knew,
Papa stayed
Because he was loyal
And master repaid him
His body whipped and hung
from that old oak tree
in the town square
she kept humming,
waiting for papa
to find his way home.

© Sumyanna 2015


Image courtesy of Morguefile (cohdra)


2 Comments Add yours

  1. oh God Sum …. and to think that these were true stories,breaks my heart…you wrote beautifully dear,moved me to tears …love hugs


    1. sumyanna says:

      I know – such a sad history. What wounds they still bear. Thank you Seema.

      Liked by 1 person

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