My tired is not equal to your tired,
My tired spans generations easily,
Yes, I complete all that is required,
And I do so without hesitation, happily.
You see my tired is insurmountable….
My tired spans back over 600 years ago in West Africa,
Maternally and paternally my family wept the same tears,
Kidnapped. Violated. Separated. Sold. Degraded…
Divided, only sharing anguish and a million fears.
A dreaded voyage, sails cast with constant pain,
Prayers strengthen my ancestors’ quest for life,
Determined, powerful despite everlasting strain.
My tired is a generational exhaustion…
Days on sugar plantations, were anything but sweet,
Rice farms were anything but all white,
Hours of toil, broken backs, aching feet,
Days began with longing, and they ended with fights.
When melanin-deprived ones suffer an injustice, their cries are heard,
We’ve been crying for over 600 years.
I hear those tears in 2017,
Those tears are steadily streaming…
Oral anecdotes that bonds my heritage has been christened with those tears.
My tired will forever out weight your tired,
My tired is paved with unfairness,
It was started with pure irrationality,
Perpetuated with sheer hate and it’s refueling, recursive, repetitive and sometimes infinite.
I see the tiredness in my dark eyes, the hue of dark cane molasses.
I feel it through every strand of thick, curly, lock of freedom.
Yes, my tiredness even pulsates through my hair,
The hair that society has been shunning for over half a millennium.
Massa said “cover it with a kerchief” and then our own black kings are unhappy no matter which style we choose to embrace.
My perils have survived Haitian revolts, Creole dissent and unrelenting colorism.
Peril, toil, hurt, pain all live inside of my tired.
You see when you ginger haired individuals are treated wrongly, you lose a few nights of sleep,
But my legacy, my ancestors have had insomnia for 600 years.
Stolen from our homes,
Breeds a psychological weariness,
Forced into bondage,
Causes a fearful restlessness,
Stripped of basic rights of your body,
Creates an animalistic exhaustion,
Forced to become overly aggressive,
Sparked a revolutionary uneasiness.
Over and over we are told what we should be,
Yet over and over we still struggle to truly be free.
Love the flag that was not meant for you,
Fight for a country, that won’t fight for you.
Become educated, become something greater,
Be nonviolent because what good is killing a hater?
Yet still, through all of this you are not, quite… it,
Even though your ancestors stood just so you can sit.
You see, you can never be tired like me,
But I’m going ride this tired out, flawlessly.
I don’t have a choice,
James gave me the hustle,
Sadie gave me the muscle.
My tiredness awakens each day with a whisper,
“Education is the key”
I hit the ground running, relentlessly.
Staring in the mirror, I see them staring back at me.
Maternally, a school teacher, a mid-wife, a family passed from Africa to Haiti, to Louisiana and finally Tennessee,
They took the brunt of the tired and pass the remnants to me.
Paternally, I hear a bootlegger, a school teacher, a cook, farmers who once were revolutionaries of Caribbean lands traveling, always searching for freedom, who strategized to relinquish their exhaustion, as a legacy for me.
The blood that runs through my veins is lubricated with fatigue,
So please cry me a river when things don’t go your way.
Privilege… what’s that?
Acceptance? No. Rebellion represents me.
So just know that throughout all of my tiredness,
Generations after generations, through 600 years and multiple continents maternally and paternally.
This inherited tired has create one bad muthafucker and don’t you forget it.
Friendship is a gift. As time passes on, I appreciate all of my friends for specific things that they bring to my life. My dear, sweet friend EJ, you brought insurmountable laughter and guidance to my life and I miss you for 100,000 reasons and the laughter is one of the biggest reasons. I know you are smiling up there, laughing up a storm because you represented pure joy. Thinking of you brings me joy. Despite the fact that I miss you so very much. Rest in love brother.
December 1, 2017 at 10:52 am
damn, “Days on sugar plantations, were anything but sweet,
Rice farms were anything but all white,”
if all the lines written in this piece, those must be the most powerful. More relevant now than it has ever been.
December 1, 2017 at 12:38 pm
Thank you. I appreciate your comments and you’re definitely right. History is doomed to repeat itself if we don’t unite.
December 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm
Unity is the root of strength. The Panther Party put in place a code for the inspiration and unity of building people up and ensuring their survival. People these days would be smart to give it a read. – The Black Code. (damn, sounds like I’m preaching. shoot me now, omg right)