martin’s peace

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

the remnants of martins peace died twice in our hands

on pages left unturned   

as love was indeed greater than hate 

but truth was often ignored 

and we marched blindly like prey 

speaking of dreams we had never seen 

letting them fool us into believing

we had a right to white man’s peace.

asking how high when they told us to jump 

thinking the league was gonna save us

some leftovers of this make-believe

we were three times left behind

in chains no one could see. 

encapsulated by shame

and these burdens of knowing 

he led us astray

guilt hardened martin’s heart

long before the bullets took its beat 

he built us burning houses using massa’s tools 

left in calloused hands, then given to you

lesson one 

we must never mistake our oppressors for anything less than our enemies.

lesson two 

fires must be tended to destroy lives 

and your hands are coated in ashes and distant memories.

i see black zombies pouring gasoline

on untamed flames asking why it had to be us again

screaming through deafening blazes 

that their compassion for our excellence

could save us this time if not the next

while they treat us like dogs and we still asking for polite freedoms

with kind smiles filled with cavities

and evidence that we still can’t afford nonviolent dreams

see i tell you those last pages are necessary reads.

lesson three

Martin Luther King said, 

“I fear I am integrating my people into a burning house”

which is why i tell u these truths

lighten burdens of betrayal 

as love is made in the rawness of silence and our desperation to be free

free from contradiction and grounded in reality

so please remember 

martin weeps in his grave when we speak

of nonviolent dreams turned to nightmares

with which he has yet to make peace