Generational Curses III

In Arts & Entertainment, Black History, Culture, Poetry by Nicole Crawford

you struggle to meet the eyes of the houseless within your community because you too cannot afford groceries or your lifestyle or rent, but you would rather turn your nose up to your reflections in hopes that if you ignore the mirrors around you for long enough they will disappear

but they won’t, they never do 

whether you see monsters or martyrs within your reflections you must understand that these are remnants of you too

what was lost and what is found within these moments of pause are the truth of this existence, the beginning of an internal dialogue that pushes us into action if we are able to hear the sounds of our own voices in the midst of the chaos 

the voices that tell us that as we run from who we are we become all that we fear and not because this life is some game of luck and misfortune but because we live within a world that chooses to let us “survive”, not as whole beings, but as false prophets  

and so as long as we deny our ancestral truths, the truths that show us that apathy only creates further division but neglects to feed starving children, we are “safe”

but I ask you, what is safety without freedom? 

safety here is to be fully conformed in the eyes of the oppressor and no longer a threat to the empire that gives us false names and applauds our confusion so much so that we struggle to mutter oshun, shango, ogun or yemaya in our native tongues because we have forgotten who to call or because we fear that it is too late to reclaim what they have stolen 

know that to survive this hell is to first see yourself in your entirety, to know who you are and where you have come from, to know that this is not home and cannot be made into one, and that the mirrors around you reflect truth, not pity 

we cannot afford to be blind to the reality of our sisters and brothers and the distant relatives who we may not have known in this life but surely will in the next

as long as there are mouths to feed and bodies to clothe we have more work to do here

and as I believe that we are all that we have left, we cannot afford to live and love as false prophets, we cannot afford to see anything less than the truth of this reality 

we need one another to survive, but to see ourselves as one, to truly be whole, means to look one another in the eyes