Make No Mistake

Near cotton fields of asphyxiation,

men hung from high strung branches

half-ass amputated.

Throats slammed shut like freedoms door.

Dangling gods like obscene pendulums. . .

such crimes went un-clocked

and the aorta of ancestry constricts.


Near cotton fields of captivity,

hearts beat to the hymns of Jesus,

hearts half-baked

and the bloody hands of Motherhood reached

trembling toward an unmerciful sky

like two slabs of cooked mud crying out,

“but the sun of the South is like the sun of Calvary…”

as their children built pine boxes

on a plantation without law.


Make no mistake –

the gruesome truths of unmarked graves

are eternal beneath the soiled, toiled earth of the South.


Near cotton fields of falsehoods,

where the institution of slavery was acceptable,

a white lie was legendary.

Truth was tossed into the wind

for an ungraceful flight

and passionate spirits were caged and silenced.

Seemed New Testament laws were suddenly conditional.

Seemed freedom was no better than a counterfeit dollar bill.


Near cotton fields of contemporary distrust,

old ghosts still gush blood

inside the nightmares of the new

and the hemorrhaging wound of oppression

has not yet healed; No!

Not when white hoods still run rampant through woods,

or Imperial Wizards are running for congress

while the chronic malaise of tomorrows

hangs like a perpetual scream from yesterday

but again –

make no mistake

for the African-American will stand

like steel in the end.

Towering. Elegant. Statuesque.

Taller and quicker

than the fall of that unholy hammer

into history.


Make no mistake

about the science of numbers and nominees,

the glorious shores of rectitude.