We may not be in chains anymore
But still they take our lives
The’ve poured their poisons in our minds
Till we hate ourselves
And those who are fighting for us
Theyve made us so “strategic”,
We are guided by fear and not by vision
Till small picture is the only big picture we know
Leaving us continually fighting each other
And leaving the structures untouched
We may not be in chains anymore
But they go after us with
Their smiles and their policies
Their good intentions and assholeries
Their rules and the structures
The same ones the built on our backs
And our ancestors backs
Running us into exhaustion
And illness
And then they say,
There’s nothing more they can do
But “be well”.
“Go slow to go fast”
While our babies are dying
We may not be in chains anymore
But they don’t give us the resources we need to
do the work we need to do,
The work we know that must be done
That can free us from the chains
Imaginary though they may seem to some
They are so very real to us
Because every, single day, we carry
the weight of the pain
of these chains
As they sit behind their desks
And tell us they care
All the while it tears us apart
Breaks our families
Breaks down our bodies
Smashes our spirits
Takes our lives
We may not be in chains anymore
But they still act like they own us
Like we are their property with
Conditional relationships
Focused on their best ideas
and feeling good about themselves
and their intentions
While we suffer and struggle.
Our tears,
Filling rivers
Our hearts,
Our bodies,
Returning to the dust of our origins
Even when we were in chains,
They have forgotten
We stood up,
We fought back, We rose. When they built laws and plantations to trap
And enslave us,
We stood up,
We fought back,
Ours are stories inherited from the struggles of ancestors and
Preserved through time by the trees and our children
We are here
We are not going any where
So let them come for us with their chains
Real as they are today
We will continue to stand up and fight back,
One day we will dismantle these systems
Ours is an intergenerational project of freedom
To break those chains
So bring it
We will step up
We not going anywhere.
Thank you Mama Pat
For giving us your shoulders to climb,
Your heart to heal us,
For pushing us when we were tired,
Daring us to dream bigger dreams,
You never forgot who you were,
You never lost sight of our work while you ascended
You were a Queen and a warrior
Who protected us, courageously
And for giving your life for our struggle
Your life for our victory
Shero is who you are
Our hearts are breaking
But we will not stop,
You never let us.
“Get up”
“Dust off”
“There’s work to be done”
“Ours is a struggle for freedom”
“Collective liberation”.
The children we will never see,
Will be your legacy.
Onward and Upward
We lift as we climb
Rest now
in Peace
and in Power
Sister, Mother, Wife, Friend, Mentor
Educator, Lifegiver, Warrior, Queen
Let us continue the heavy lifting
for our peoples
While you watch from above,
We will listen for your advice
In our dreams
When you come to let us know
What we need to still do.
We love you,
Always in Love and Solidarity.