by Betty Moore

           Being born Black in America
        is like waring an invisible noose
        never knowing when it will snap.

     Being born a Black Woe-man in America
              is double jeopardy
        with all ties, dangling, pulling
     reducing freedom to puppet-like status
                 shattering dreams.

   A free-hearted spirit that beats in regret
           stirring soul-filled memories of-
               snatched bodies-
        bodies once a part of you---gone.

     Watchers by day, prayers in the night
     shoulders ladened like beast of burden
          with "nation-hood" chores--
         mouth pursed, not for a kiss,
          but screaming in the night
               when "Eli" comes.

     Connection with our "Mother", our "Land",
               now so far removed.
     outstretched arms lift to touch souls
    once a part of her, that haunt her mind. 
   Eyes stare on hazed landscapes and remember 
    long forgotten smiles that no longer come.

     Her arms stretch out wanting to touch
  the many misguided souls and silently connect
         with the many that were erased.
            Arms folded across her brest,
   hold in place the treads of her own being,
              and then, she cries.


Author's Note: This work was done after 
reading the plight of a young African woman 
who was sentenced to death in Africa. 
It brought to mind how much our "foremothers" 
went through just trying to survive the harsh 
treatment unjustly forced upon them just 
because their skin was black, and they had 
no one to protect them.

Woe-Man by Betty Moore

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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