I can still hear him crying.
As his feet saunter through dusty paths
Under night fall,
the moon the only light he has to illuminate the shadows he sees.
They told him it was only for a short while.
Once he had paid his debt he would see his home again
But he had soon realized that returning was no longer an option.
Forced onto ships packed to the brim with brown faces
His heart beat faster than a hummingbird flaps his wings
The stench is what he will never forget.
It smelled of fear, and of tears, and of blood.
Now, he questioned which of these he would leave in his path.
They pushed him in to the shadows
Placed his body on top of another
Chained them together
And consumed them in darkness
Only thing his mind allows him to remember is the sound of his own heart beat being accompanied by another
I can still hear her screaming.
Her offspring ripped form her arms
like a tornado snatches a home from its very foundation.
Sold like cattle but treated like less.
There was no one to save them.
No one to tell him that it wasn’t his fault
That it didn’t make him any less of a man.
No one to comfort but God himself
And even He felt out of ears reach sometimes
I can still hear them talking.
Passing the time in the tobacco fields
As their they labored and their backs carried infants.
They found pleasantries to pass the time as the sun beat on them
As they tarried in the dirt for what was to be on master’s table.
Jordan River’s and Go Down Moses
He Worked that plow and bellowed tenor notes
Sweat dripping from his shoulders
Illuminating every lashing He has taken since he was able to understand what slavery was
He still Sang.
And he worked
She Still sang
And She still Worked
I can Still hear them laughing.
Little brown boys and girls finding joy in all that they see
Old enough to understand the ways of the world
But young enough to still find amusement in the confinement of the cotton fields
Chuckles escape their lips as they gather around the fire
Enjoying full meals from mere scraps left from their labor
They tell stories of home
Stories of freedom
Remember sisters and brothers, cousins and friends lost so long ago
Share hopes and dream of a future better than what they see possible
I still here Her praying
Knees planted on the ground
tears falling down her cheeks
Words blooming petitions to The Lord’s Throne of grace
She appeals to the father on behalf of her children
“God grant them the grace to experience the freedom I never knew”
She pleads on behalf of her husband
God give him strength to endure even when they try their best to break every piece of him
She prays over herself.
“Lord, grant the me the understanding to deal with it all and the peace to know that your presence is everywhere I may not feel it”
She prays until her voice feels the room
Her words spill out into the houses along side of her
Down the road,
Into the tobacco fields saturating every place her feet have ever tread
Sowing seed on good ground.
Preparing for the harvest to come
We are her harvest.
She may have never lived to see it but we are the fruits of her prayers
We are the things she interceded for.
The things he tarried for.
We are a result of the songs they bellowed from their souls
As they worked until their fingers were raw, until their backs moaned in agony
We are the manifestation of the dreams they used to tell each other around the dinner time fire
We are the harvest God brought forth.
You are the example of God’s grace
The epitome of God’s Favor.
The answer to millions of prayers said through rivers of tears
For hundreds of years.
You are what they still praying