Konch Magazine - Three Poems by Opal Palmer Adisa
 
 
PROTRACTED
By Opal Palmer Adisa
 
“One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves,
yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet
freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and
economic oppression. And this nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will
not be fully free until all its citizens are free.”
John F. Kennedy, 1963
 
 
truth does not
lobby for history
 
to be merciful
it does not seek
the morphology
of justice
 
it simply
lets itself be known
 
grossly overlooked
it remains standing firmly
a reminder to whomever
wishes to taste the fruit
of spring forever in one’s mouth
 
we have to walk
a little further
a little longer
 
similar to time
truth endures
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
FROM SLAVERY TO URBANIZATION
BY Opal Palmer Adisa
 
 
hands grasped his neck
he felt his life slipping
thoughts of children/wife
pleaded for breath
 
spirit and resilience
punched/punctured
 
the trajectory of the chokehold
began as shackles around the neck
 
it’s an old history
blacks should get over it
uttered frequently
 
whites crazy hatred
should be assuaged by now
but we are still back there/here
slavers bullying enslavers
fearing revolt
 
times are different and not
the men that used to
don white hoods
are the same paid
boys in blue
gun trigger ready
for the same target
 
black males
knappy hair/fat lips
refusing surrender
hustling to make bread
 
eric garner’s life has never mattered
(except to a selected consciousness)
in these americas built
on african sweat
his truth has never held
the weight of justice
he is but one name
on the long list of time
where black lives  
have been hunted by dogs
and torn to pieces
received 39 lashes
and left for death
for running to freedom
affirming their worth
lynched for opening businesses
3 strikes and you have life
for selling a little dope
you can never vote anymore
or even get a driver’s license
and you certainly can’t be
an entrepreneur
even to sell loose cigarettes
 
if you do then you
won’t be able to breathe
 
i can’t breathe
no black man/woman/child
can breathe
we can’t breathe
in this system of white supremacy
where ghettos and prisons are the new
plantations
 

t
The USA Will Never Be White Again
Opal Palmer Adisa
 
 
it never was
europeans                   desperate and persecuted
came          plundered          stole from the native people
labelled them savage  becoming exactly what they were fleeing
 
america will never be white again
in fact it never was 
in 1614 harlem new york had free africans and was a diverse thriving city
 
america will never be white again
but it never was
corn and tomatoes were farmed here by red people
my people – african--  built this country with brick and sweat and blood
chinese men blew up mountains for the railroad expansion
white men made the rules.
enacted laws 
reaped the benefits from everyone's toil
 
still
america will never be white again
we are all immigrants 
we all need each and other
there's enough to share
in the plains and stars
and the mountains and minerals
 
but i understand white fear
It’s real       as palpable as a cow’s tongue
and in light of white supremacy
in assessment of all you have done
in light of how much you have benefited
and for so long it's hard to now learn to share
to stand in line    to wait your place        to not always be first
second and third
 
but fear not
we will not be hateful as you have been
we will not throw a tantrum   call you unintelligent
inferior     minority        worth less than an animal
we will not send you to the back of the bus
deny your children a good education
rape your women
or send your men to jail for free labor
 
we will teach you love
we understand love has not been modeled for you
we will teach you courage    the benefits of sharing
for america will never be the playground for only whites anymore
The african american caribbean  mexican    latin american moslem        christian          buddhist    gay   european asian homeless united people of the world all belong here
and will continue to be here
and this is what will make america great
our diverse          inclusive    large than one’s individual reality connection that understands that the America was never a great place for many and can only be with all of us united to make it so
 
yesterday is gone and will not return
we celebrate the colourful smart usa that has room for everyone 
 
the true and real america will grow and thrive
 
we insist
 
 
 
Opal Palmer Adisa