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My Feets

 

My, my, my...

 

While confined in the sky

I came across your letter,

You wrote it from a jail

They locked you up cause you were fed up,

 

But your wings had been clipped from the day you were born So to you, that loss of flight was familiar. In fact it was norm. Yet you had the awareness to weather that storm,

Not with wings… but with feet… blue-collar shoe adorned.

My, my...

I…

Doctor, I would’ve loved to see you keep ascendin’

But then again, a man on death row once asked, “are there handcuffs in heaven?”

Such despair, it’s fair to feel your blood temperature start to rise

And flare like bombs bursting in air till it tears at your eyes

And wears at your insides and kills your drive

And you already can’t fly

So, like you did, I look to my...

 

My…

My feet.

 

Doctor they called you and your guys outside agitators But you were just being the feet of the body.

We are one body,

The feet start the movements.

 

I guess them moderate elbows were so comfy swingin back n forth,

That the turmoil of their South was clouded by the ideal illusion of their North.


 

Head in the clouds,

We America, be proud

But you told them, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

And your pen was loud.

 

So if they couldn’t hear you it was indicative of the predicament.

A nation built on this idea of freedom, yet bound in glistening shackles because

it’s built on other things too hideous to acknowledge.

 

Things all at once overt, insidious, and polished,

 

Things they don’t thoroughly teach in high school or college,

Things that were never quite actually abolished.

They weren’t hearing you

And you weren’t gonna let that slide, or let them skate.

So you marched… and so they marched you to them Birmingham gates.

 

I gotta say, doctor,

Just imagining y’all walking through that fire,

Only solace in the knowledge that the devil is a liar.

Just walking your walk vicariously is enough to make me feel as if

My feets is tired.

 

My feets is tired.

 

But I understand necessity and desire.

A man on death row once asked,

“What would you do if you had to spend the rest of your life waiting to die?”

 

My first thought is that I would stop waiting. That’s not to speak of suicide.

But rather of urgency in the need to survive.

Urgency that demands we not wait for the storm to pass

Or negotiate a better path,

Not when the subject of negotiation

is a God-given natural right that’s been taken.

Freedom.

Doctor, you taught us to be better than that

And so, like the students who came out by the ton

To protest your arrest for peaceful demonstration,

We too are inspired to fight for liberation,

From a legacy of slavery, to lynching, to mass incarceration.

But my soul...

It aches for our ghosts still waiting to be uplifted

As who could’ve predicted That only one percent of lynching perpetrators would be convicted.

My feets is tired, but my soul...

It bleeds today for the one in three black males who can still expect to go to prison at some point in their lives, per mathematical statistic.

 

My feets is tired, but my soul...

 

It sails on the shoulders of the snatched and enslaved,

Builders of a nation, yet full potential restricted.

 

My feets is tired, but my soul...

 

It lights up with flashes of hope and beacons of persistence,

Persistence... like a man on death row for 28 years finally freed after the umpteenth appeal,

Persistence… Like a seamstress claiming her seat on the bus with

the resolve of steel,

Like a president making the seemingly impossible finally feel real,

Like an athlete’s livelihood left on a green field where heroes in solidarity kneel.

 

Body and soul, I thank you for your truth telling.

To that end, it wasn’t necessary to ascend, because you transcended.

 

As the legacy of your words to this day moves bodies,

As those bodies peacefully demand the free flow of life’s natural blessings,

As the shackles that follow me continue to slowly dissipate, Justice attestin’

 

My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.

My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.

My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.

 
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