Thoughts of a Single Man

The Day The Ships Came Rolling Onto Shore - Poem by Thoughts of a Single Man

I wonder
what were the first impressions
of the one's who was there that infamous day
did they run or did they stay
when they saw the ships come rolling in the shore
standing there
on the beach of the African dark continent
holding no ill sentiment
but the quizzical stare
wondering who owned the hulking masses
that rode the waves out there
never knowing that this was the point in our history
when the key of fate would be turned
that would lock us in the chains behind the doors of regret
as a country that was not our own
was built on the breaking backs and the hidden facts
that the soil of this so-called land of the free
was watered with all of our sweat
proud kings and queens
forcibly torn from their thrones
was left to bake in the aching sun
of a land that was not their home
as ivory hands reached through to find them
amidst the cover of a deceitful fog
holding our ebony sisters in the grip of evolving hate
and tearing them from their slumbering mates
condemning us with that tawdry stamps
of all races denigrated and designated to wait
by the stabbing spears of venom
that shackled and bound us in iron clasps
from our necks, wrists, and our feet
and the whips that struck our bleeding backs
as we worked until we were too weak to speak
though through the years times have changed
but has so much progress really been made?
for we are still held in contempt
not for the content of our character
but our skin and the dark grades of it's shade
can we ever be more than lowly slaves?
for words are like weapons
and cut deep as the ones made by blades
our generation is still feeling the brunt
of the weight of the treacherous acts
as we moved in our social recognition
from being colored to negro and then to being black
are we now African-Americans
or Americans of African descent?
are we products of the American dream
or simply the existing remnants like shining ornaments
that adorn these lawns from a dark continent
the feelings still felt held in our elders eyes
to echoes still heard of those in the plantation as they cried
but the spirit never dies
shall we truly overcome or were wee just overrun
as we wait searching the horizon for destiny still yet to come
from the grey hairs of our ancestors
weeping in silent shame
to the newborn child
of now who has forgotten the heritage of their original name
our leaning tree has become the burning tree
that stands still within our scope
for it still harbors the noose
that we swung from on the lynching rope
and has been twisted in pain
though it's grieving roots shall run deep forevermore
still held in the reflecting unsuspecting vision
of those who where there that fateful day
the ships came rolling onto shore

Thoughts of a Single Man 2012 tm

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, August 30, 2012

Poem Edited: Monday, September 3, 2012

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