Poem with last line taken from Langston Hughes’ “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”
by Jamie Joyner
I grew up in a Baptist church
amongst straight and narrow lines.
Boxed in with old traditions
their beliefs from their father’s time.
Yet I struggled. I fought. I knew
that there was more out there;
Not all this “Jesus” stuff was true.
So I ran. Drowning without a care.
Wasted. Looking for Plato,
acceptance. Ideals were never dead.
I grew myself. Needing to know
answers to the chatter in my head.
So I found the will to say
that I would form the Resistance.
I will abolish racism and bigotry one day.
Let these people shine up with chance.
I lift my voice for Obama,
fight Cali’s congress for vetoing the vote.
Yeah I heard you Mama;
But I BELIEVE! I wear this coat
made of rainbows against
conservative old fucks.
I am strong. I burn fences.
I have grown, matured, blossomed like a buck.
inhales your knowledge.
I am a sponge
absorbing your experiences
My life is full of color;
it glistens with dew drops
in the sun as
I stand on the embankment
Of my essence
My soul has grown deep like the rivers