Heroes are those martyred folk,
Putting heritage before
The selfish grumblings of their soul
Thus live forever more…
Martin dreamed a little dream
That changed our civil rights
Malcolm stood and shook a fist
Thus lengthening our sights.
Harriet used the underground
To set our spirits free
While Jane drank water from the fountain
Shameless for all to see
Booker was a scientist
and educator too
Marcus’ “Back to Africa”
Raised consciousness anew.
Madame Walker encourage pride
Through beauty tips galore
And, Rosa would not leave her seat
Thus making Black folk lore.
Scarred by sundry blemishes
Tarnished many times over
By different people, different places.
Disguises created by exigency
protect me from a cruel world
Concealing these weary eyes thus
closing the windows to my psyche.
Like an island, I remain
Isolated from these tangible dimensions
Sheltered in an armor of self-sufficiency
Oblivious to worldly pain.
Revelation will come tomorrow
Facades all forgone
Beholding all my natural beauty
unMASKED for all to know.
With patience and a prideful stitch,
With finest cloth in hand,
She sits to do her timeless task;
To weave a barren land.
With threads of blue and needle’s point,
She sews a seamless sky.
A touch of while silk here and there,
And clouds debut on high.
As spools of green roll to the floor,
And miles of grass abound,
She finds the tone to paint the seas;
and patch some lakes around.
With ne’er a though, she snares more thread,
A brilliant reel of gold,
And with some bits of silver string,
The Sun and Moon unfold.
by Dr. Harold Arnold (1990)