Black But Beautiful - Poem by Mariam Taufeeq
I saw her walking up the path.
Up the garden path.
To my door.
She was like a ray of sun.
She was that beautiful.
But a spasm crossed her face.
When she saw me.
And she clasped my hand.
Saying, ' O' sister! O' sister!
All I ask from you is refuge from the world,
For I have been lost in despair
They have finally torn two souls apart
They have fragmented my soul.'
I understood. How could I not
After the terror she had witnessed?
And she walked through my door.
And up the hallway.
Her hands shook as I gave her a cuppa' tea.
And her beautiful face portrayed misery.
And her voice was scented with true pain.
For This Happening had forever stained
If a list was to be made of sufferings
Her list was to go trailing out the door.
Her daughter had been killed that day.
She had watched her die.
She stood helpless, wringing her heart,
As her daughter's frail hands had been twisted
And cold metal met clammy flesh and blood.
While she just stood there, watching.
She buried the remnants she could scrape
Alongside her other children
Whom she could not defend.
She was helpless against those White Men.
Who had punished her for crimes
Crimes she was ignorant of.
Crimes she was innocent of.
All her life, every day was the same.
'Cause all the White missus did was
Chastise, correct, confine.
Debar, defrock, dismiss.
Motto it was, to 'tar and feather the Black.'
Motto it was, to kill and snipe.
(Though they called it pruning)
Motto it was to wipe 'em out.
It was their fault, they said, for existing.
They were treated lower than slaves.
But terror reaches peaks.
Peaks that beat on the same path: murder.
And my sister's tears had not yet dried.
As she clutched at me, spilling her woes.
Her long since bottled up woes.
And tears flowed down my cheeks
As the story wove on.
Pain burned deep in her heart, marking it eternally.
Never to fade. Never to die.
Because her daughter was just like her.
She was black, but she was beautiful.
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