British Columbia, Canada
~* My Mama, And Her Mama Before Her *~
Papa had died one day, just stopped.
Two workers brought him back from the fields,
cotton still stuck under his nails,
and they said the Lord took him,
he's free now, praise the Lord!
I heard mama cry, then she whispered
that she wished the Lord had taken her too.
I was sure sure glad he didn't.
I guess my Mama, and her Mama before her
worked them fields of prickles and pain.
My Mama worked the berry vines,
or picked tomatoes and we all
laughed when we saw her weathered black hands
turn red, 'cause she never told us
it was blood and not berry juice.
She done woke us long before birds
warbled anything sweet every morning,
and on empty bellies we straggled
along behind her headed
to them fields of pain
where berries were breakfast.
Hurry she'd always whisper,
'fore someone comes and sees ya.
I reckon she wore the same dress,
shoes, and kerchief on her head
saving herself from the sunís stroke
day in and day out, night in, night out.
From farm to farm she carried the
day's dirt of her labour to that hayloft.
Ah I loved the nights.
Mama sung to us and others joined in.
They sung songs of our roots, our home,
remindin us to never forget we was
after all black and be proud of it.
We learned new songs of freedom.
Oh, that was gonna be a wonderful new day.
From farm to forest, we followed her,
little sojourners, working wherever Mama
said the food of survival grew,
all the while hoping someone would
take us in so we didnít have to walk no more.
When it rained heavy we got to stay
in one place sometimes two or three days,
them was the closest times I felt.
Well honey, now Iím free yes,
but it ainít no different really,
Ďcept there is a little more food,
for more work and discomfort.
I still love to sing to my childrens
all the songs my Mama done taught me.
I suppose they will be singin them
to their childrens they love too just
like my Mama did, and her Mama before her.
I mean no disrespect with the english used in this poem,
as I was only trying to capture the era it might have taken place in.
We should spend less time worrying about when our life is going to end and more on when it's going to start!
[This message has been edited by Mysteria (05-11-2002 11:05 PM).]