god bless america II

Two years ago, I wrote the found poetry poem, “god bless america,”  for an English class. Recently, for my Black World Studies course, I decided to write a sequel from a much different perspective. You ought to read it as you listen to, “Old Maid,” from the It Follows film.  See the original here.

church bells and church hymns
announce the arrival of my
captors with white hoods;
they loop a rope around my neck,
the other end in the tree limb,
and through the beat of my own heart,
i hear the thump of their bible,
their church bells and church hymns.
god bless america

as the rope gets tighter around my neck,
little kids poke me with sticks,
a mother holds her daughter’s hand,
the daughter already acquiring the venom
passed from generation to generation,
and the priest prepares his bible verse,
a verse that’s sure to say i was a sin
against nature and an abomination of some kind.
god bless america

i’m the white elephant in america’s
bless roomed, the incongruous fact;
the black shadow that darkens the
declaration of independence, that
makes the church bells ring hollow,
“all men are created equal” drips
with the blood of blac bodies
and little kids bring lemonade
to watch another be destroyed.
god bless america

the son i have, born into a world
where he has already committed
the crime of being black, will
grow with this legacy chasing him,
as sure as the black shadow has always
chased america and then white people
will wonder why their church bells
and their church hymns are darker,
and will wonder why my boy, born to
sin, falls behind. He will be hanged
in the way of hte white hoods of
god bless america

baldwin was right, my black skin
is a portal into the darkness
of america’s history, and
white people don’t want to look
into it…
as you stare into the abyss…
god bless america


One thought

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s