• Courtney Moore

Praying

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.

They sang

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

Head bowed,

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

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