Crossing Borders: The History of Me

Time …
Put your mind in my head for a minute
cross the borders of lastingness and confines
while you rest in the comfort of now,
it was not long when the blood of my blood
endured the life of a slave.

In the quiet of day, the dead of night
abducted from the freedom of Africa,
ripped from all that’s familiar
to sail in the luxury of their shit, stink and dead
to worlds of deception and hate.

In the living rooms or on platforms they stood tall and slender,
well built, and strong, with breasts bared for all to see,
scared, confused and dehumanized,
the transaction goes on … Goods for sale.
Families are scattered like seeds.

Immorality …
Stripped of their identity and honor,
no longer wives or husbands, mothers or fathers
children no more, but slaves.
Cotton pickers and masters’ whores we are,
until the Lord bids us to sleep in the dust of the earth.

Bellies aching for mama, and sons longing to feel like men
but the slave masters induced the black minds
that they were not equal,
we were God’s gift they said, to slave for them
and they preached that it was God’s law.

The black race is inferior, like monkeys they said,
we have no perception of life.
Lies they disclosed to their mirrors
as they violated my sisters and their daughters
and forced them to bare their sacred souls.

From freedom and the lush greens of Africa
to servitude in the blazing sun of the plantations,
with the stinging lash of the whip opening yesterday’s blisters
bleeding the life out of you until …
you leave time for eternity.


Michelle Gaskin


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