Years ago, when my creative juices flowed in abundance, and I considered myself a writer above all else, I walked around with a notebook. I took this notebook everywhere because I was always unsure of just when I might be inspired to pen a story or a poem. Inspiration could come from something as small as a bag blowing in the wind.
As my life progressed and my responsibilities increased, I found that I was less inspired by the minute and only by the monumental. In fact, the last poem I was ever motivated to write was written the day my son was born, nearly 20 years ago. Afterwards, all of my energy and creativity went into him.
It‘s only now, that he is finding his own path, that I feel allowed to tap into those creative juices again and express myself in written form.
And today I felt inspired once again. Reading about the shift this country is taking and the continued protests calling for the end to racism, police brutality and modern day lynching, I felt the need to process it all. My mother told me recently, that the energy of this movement is different than before. She says it feels as if we’re moving into a new era. I pray she’s right, and I thank her for inspiring me to write my first poem in nearly 20 years:
But the tree wasn’t tall enough, and
The rope wasn’t strong enough.
They strung us up
Yet we refused to succumb
To the yank
To the hold
To the gun
To the knee
That attempted to rob us of our breath.
With our hands
To lift us from the ground
With feet grasping for the earth,
Or push us down
With arms grasping for the sky
As we called out for the Ancestors or...
But they didn’t know that once our feet were lifted, we could and would just fly away
Once pressed in the ground, we would merely become one with the land,
Changing its make up,
Scorching the roots for a rebirth
So that new seeds can be planted and grown.
And they’ll try again...
But the tree sprung from this new earth will be too tall to reach,
And the rope much too hard to bend.