by Tiffanie Dzietror
Poetry – First Place, 2020 VSU Black History Month Literary Arts Contest
Black History, Black Mental Health: Trauma. Resilience. Triumph.
My sons are murdered, bodies bloody in the streets for hours
My daughters are stolen from mine eyes with no search party, doomed for demise.
My brothers are enamored by gold chains, big backsides surface level lifestyles
My sisters not filling their heads with knowledge but covering their face and head in toxin lyes
Our fathers, not all absent but those that are don't cause the scars that
Our mothers tough love and resentment can present
Our consciousness desensitized not realizing real lies written out before our eyes
My sons defy the systems traps every day, though tacks, splinters and boards all torn up and getting in the way, they climb the compacted stairs anyway
My daughters learn to live past physical and societal infringements on their worth, black oceans leaping and wide, still they rise
My brothers can be loud as the rolling sea, as long as they know self they’ll always be free
My sisters relearning their queendom, eclipse their cradle curse, the struggle of suffering the weight of men and the world
Our fathers feared yet fanciful, lovely yet lanced, evermore rocks, evermore rivers and evermore trees
Our mothers know that one morning the chain is gonna break. But until that morning they’re gonna take all they can take.
Our consciousness ascends
My sons in their stacked guerrilla wars rise
My daughters and their unique three-ness thrive
My brothers brazen with bold belief
My sisters sharing support’s sanctity
Our fathers resist and rally well
Our mothers charge and shock them in shells
This work contains heavy allusion from Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise and on the pulse of morning, Langston Hugh’s Mother to Son, James Baldwin’s Go Tell it on The Mountain, Chain of fools by Aretha Franklin and A rose is still a rose, James Weldon Johnson’s lift every voice and sing