From my very first post I wanted to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer?
"Obliged to you for hearing me, and I do have a few things more to say..."

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

New Poem

     I don't usually post my work online. My son cautions me against the practice, and his counsel on this particular subject, seems wise. But today I am choosing to post my most recent poem. I just wrote it a few days ago, after the Zimmerman verdict, so it will probably be revised a few times yet. Still I share it now in support of the president's statement yesterday. I do welcome feedback.


For the Other Parents

Since the year 1863
there has been a talk many American parents
have to have with their American sons
at just about the time that their son’s
voices begin to change, and their muscles
begin to harden into impending manhood,
at just about the time that referring
to the boy as boy changes too.
They say things like these,
things I have never had to say to my son,
nor have any of my ancestors
since the year 1863.

***

There will be times, from now on
when people will be afraid of you.
You have to be aware of this at all times,
to develop a sense for it,...  to feel it
before it turns bad, because
very bad things can happen to you
when people are afraid of you.
You can’t play with toy guns anymore,
or swords, or pick up pipes, or even sticks.
Always be aware of your surroundings.
Try not to go anywhere alone,
especially at night.
If you’re being followed try to find someone
so you’re not alone.
Cooperate with authorities even when
your dignity makes that hard.
Don’t do anything with your hands but put them up.
Don’t worry about winning or losing.
Your goal is to survive.
Let them stand their hallowed ground
that they’re afraid of you taking.
You just stay alive.
And always - remember
there is nothing wrong with you,
nothing wrong with the way you look.
You are who you have always been
and that is the ground that
you have to stand.

All rights reserved. (C) Tammi J Truax. 2013.


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