Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: hey mister…

Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: hey mister…
Yareah Magazine

Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: hey mister…

Rosedown Plantation, Saint Francisville (West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana)

Rosedown Plantation, Saint Francisville (West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana)

DEDICATED to all who have suffered at the oppressive hands of others –

hey mister…

hey mister
is it my dark brown skin
my matted nappy hair
my ruby red lips
my deep raspy voice
my nose that spreads like wild fire

is it my eyes
my black onyx eyes
these eyes that talk to you
that talk back to you
eyes that see through
yur brittle bones ‘n yur empty heart
them white powdered bones ‘n ice cold heart

is it my long reachin’ arms
arms that reach round this here life
this life without life that you chain me to
arms that reach back to tha’ land’a my cousins
reach back to ancient dreams and soundless screams
reach back to tha’ beginnin’s
of all tha’ beginnin’s

hey mister
is it my big round breasts
breasts floatin’ round like summer clouds
in yur wet dreams of kingdom come
yur kingdom that is
yur kingdom that done come
all over my purty red dress that you bought me
you know tha’ one
that one you said was
tha’ color’a my ruby red lips

yeah big round breasts
now all full’a warm life givin’ milk
milk for this here little baby girl’a mine
this here purty little girl that look jest like her mama
‘n a whole lotta like her pappy
her skin ain’t so purty brown ‘z mine
‘n her hair ain’t so nappy ‘z mine
‘n her arms ‘n legs well thay ain’t so much like mine neither
‘n you say you love the way she look
‘n you say you gonna treat her tha’ same special way
you done treated her mama

hey mister
is it my swaggered walk
my big wide hips swingin’
to tha’ silent chants’a my ancestors in tha’ motherland
you know tha’ land don’chu
tha’ mother land
my mother’s land
that land where you done
gone ‘n stole my mama
wrapped her all up in that
iron clad neckless ‘n them iron clad bracelets
‘n threw her into tha’ pits’a hell
till ya’ll washed yur scrawny asses
upon tha’ shores’a this here promised land

‘n what all this promised land
done promised you mister
seems it promised you
you could jest go on ‘n do whatever
you wanted with whoever you wanted
don’t make no difference who or what
like it din’t make no difference
what you done to my mama
when you rolled all ov’a her
on them long rollin’ nights on that long rollin’ boat
that went ‘n took you to my native land
‘n then brought you back to this here promised land
this here land’a milk ‘n honey

well mister
tha’ only thang ’bout
milk ‘n honey for you now is
you thank that there blood
runnin’ through yur filthy veins
is all nice’n white like milk
‘n that your slitherin’ slimy thang
is all sweet like honey
but that’s where yur all wrong mister
all wrong

‘n i’m wonderin’ jest what part’a me
you thought you could hold hostage
with them there chains’a yurs
cause these here eyes
that see you fur what you are
‘n these here ruby red lips you love ta’ bite
‘n this here nose that smells yur foul stink
‘n this here nappy hair you like ta’ pull
‘n these here arms you bound in hate
‘n these here long legs you like ta’ part
‘n this here heart you thought you could kill
‘n this here me you ain’t nev’a did see

well mister
these here thangs
all put togeth’a make one woman

one mean woman

one mean woman
that ain’t gonna take yur shit no more
no she ain’t

hey mister
jest one more thang
‘fore i go ‘n give you what you need
jest one more little ole thang
i’m gonna go on ‘n call you
by yur right name now
yur special name
jest one time

hey daddy


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