Hate is A Strong Word (Ode to the Black Man)

March to Washington

One man, Martin, was the reason,
That a dream gave African American men,
The resource of will, how the black skin tamed, 
Millions of ivory sculptures,
How heritages were bigger, than the Gambia.
Kunta Kinte spelled on a black board, the word
“Hate”, and looked at the piece
Of limestone in his hand. How easy for a piece of white
Chalk to write the word “Hate”.

How hate spread from Goiree island,
To the river Mississippi. Ships that traded slaves were
Operating across the Atlantic,
From Freetown to tethers, while the clatter of chains
Could be heard, echoing through the night, so like
The slave songs. Hate, was
The reason black men were chained
And bison roamed free.

While slave names echoed
Through cotton plantations, the black man’s steam,
Made vessels out of their hearts,
Driving steamboats upriver, through the Mississippi.
Freedom was like tiny feathers of a crow,
Mixing with loose cotton fibers,
How the wind blew them all together
And still, how one word, pulls
Them apart – the H word,

Some things are mutually exclusive,
The H word and the L word.
The H word, still states its claim, the wooden
Crosses, the nooses and bonfires,
While the confederacy flags,
Come off one by one, from rooftops,
No longer colored red, nor red flags, rednecks,
Or careless blood spilled. Abolition,
Oiled every surface prone to friction,
Smoothening cheeks and shoulders.

The H word, devolved from that day,
To become a vestige in usage,
That occasionally climbs out of a gun
Making a booming noise, one unarmed black man down,
At the hands of a white cop, how the H word is still flammable,
To raze like wildfire through a nation
Hearts barren of love, palms fecund of hate,
The face-off bereft of cheeks
Sliding on each other, the slow détente of color,
And still the tip of the iceberg, hate is.

Black pawns and white knights
Symbolizing vestigial hate; white queens and black kings,
Epitomizing the new world order of race relations.
Black and white, strange bedfellows they are,
Who are learning that make-up-sex,
Is more beautiful now, than the day,
Abolition was America’s honeymoon,
And love was the blushing bride.

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