Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For My People

For My People 

Margaret Walker 1915–1998

or my people everywhere singing their slave songs repeatedly:
their dirges and their ditties and their blues and jubilees,
praying their prayers nightly to an unknown god,
bending their knees humbly to an unseen power;

For my people lending their strength to the years, to the gone years and the now years and the maybe years, washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending hoeing plowing digging planting pruning patching dragging along never gaining never reaping never knowing and never understanding;

For my playmates in the clay and dust and sand of Alabama backyards playing baptizing and preaching and doctor and jail and soldier and school and mama and cooking and playhouse and concert and store and hair and Miss Choomby and company; 

For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn to know the reasons why and the answers to and the people who and the places where and the days when, in memory of the bitter hours when we discovered we were black and poor and small and different and nobody cared and nobody wondered and nobody understood;

 For the boys and girls who grew in spite of these things to be man and woman,
 to laugh and dance and sing and play and drink their wine and religion and success,
 to marry their playmates and bear children and then die of consumption and anemia and lynching;

For my people thronging 47th Street in Chicago and Lenox Avenue in New York and Rampart Street in New Orleans, lost disinherited dispossessed and happy people filling the cabarets and taverns and other people’s pockets and needing bread and shoes and milk and land and money and something—something all our own;

 For my people walking blindly spreading joy, losing time being lazy, sleeping when hungry, shouting when burdened, drinking when hopeless, tied, and shackled and tangled among ourselves by the unseen creatures who tower over us omnisciently and laugh;

For my people blundering and groping and floundering in the dark of churches and schools and clubs and societies, associations and councils and committees and conventions, distressed and disturbed and deceived and devoured by money-hungry glory-craving leeches, preyed on by facile force of state and fad and novelty, by false prophet and holy believer;

For my people standing staring trying to fashion a better way from confusion, from hypocrisy and misunderstanding, trying to fashion a world that will hold all the people, all the faces, all the adams and eves and their countless generations;

Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born.
Let a bloody peace be written in the sky.
Let a second generation full of courage issue forth;
let a people loving freedom come to growth. 
Let a beauty full of healing and a strength of final clenching be the pulsing in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs be written, let the dirges disappear.
Let a race of men now rise and take control. “

For My People” from This is My Century: New and Collected Poems. Copyright © 1989 by Margaret Walker.


Unknown said...

nhl jerseys
hermes belt for sale
tory burch outlet online
ralph lauren outlet
kobe bryants shoes
swarovski crystal
air jordan 11
ray ban outlet
coach outlet store
michael kors factory online
miami dolphins
celine outlet
michael kors handbags outlet
new york giants
nike outlet store
ralph lauren outlet
true religion outlet
toms outlet store
beats by dre

Unknown said...

christian louboutin uk
oakley sunglasses
chicago blackhawks
tory burch outlet
longchamp handbags
asics,asics israel,asics shoes,asics running shoes,asics israel,asics gel,asics running,asics gel nimbus,asics gel kayano
toms outlet
ray ban sunglasses
nike roshe run
louis vuitton pas cher
polo ralph lauren
snapbacks wholesale
michael kors outlet
ugg uk outlet
ugg outlet online
ralph lauren uk
fred perry polo shirts
michael kors outlet
hermes belt for sale
ysl outlet
swarovski crystal
cheap ray ban sunglasses
true religion jeans
fitflops sale
police sunglasses
prada sneakers
cheap oakley sunglasses
burberry sunglasses
mulberry handbags
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet store
michael kors outlet store
cheap nike shoes
polo ralph lauren
cheap snapbacks

Unknown said...

lebron james sneakers
tory burch outlet
mlb jerseys
nike air force white
air max 90 black
ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton handbags
true religion outlet
kate spade outlet
valentino outlet
birkenstock sandals
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet
dolce and gabbana outlet
coach outlet online coach factory outlet
nike force 1
new balance shoes
ugg boots canada
tiffany and co
adidas nmd
converse shoes
ugg outlet
ray ban sunglasses
ugg outlet
valentino shoes
uggs sale
converse uk
polo outlet
gucci outlet
ugg australia
kobe 9
louis vuitton handbags
timberland boots

raybanoutlet001 said...

nike trainers uk
cheap oakley sunglasses
instyler max 2
cheap oakley sunglasses
browns jerseys
reebok outlet
replica watches
adidas nmd
michael kors
michael kors handbags clearance

Unknown said...

longchamp sale
louboutin shoes
pandora outlet
jordan uk
hollister clothing
oakley sunglasses outlet
coach outlet online
oakley sunglasses outlet
mont blanc pen

raybanoutlet001 said...

polo ralph lauren outlet
christian louboutin shoes
ray ban sunglasses
nike shoes
moncler outlet
cheap jordans
coach outlet online
cheap jordan shoes
nike store
nike blazer