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« on: September 14, 2005, 10:27:02 PM »

A Raging Flood of Tears

September 11, 2005

by Ewuare Osayande

 

they are pulling our dead out of the dead water now

they are pulling our dead out of the dead water now

like they pulled Till out of the Tallahatchie River

and even if we did place the blame where it belongs

would they get off like the men who murdered Emmett?

 

while reporters blamed us for staying

refusing to see the chains that tied us to the catastrophe

that was to come

like when they tied Malcolm Littleís dad

to the tracks

and left him for dead

cause they knew the train was coming

 

they knew the flood was coming

they knew the levees would break

they were warned

but did nothing

they were warned

but did nothing

they refused to prepare

 

they are pulling our dead out of the dead water now

counting them as if they were tallying votes

but you cannot measure disgrace with a body-count

and no one wins in death

 

what have we now but our heartbeats?

and tears

and the whys

of our questions keep coming

even Jesus was said

to have fed the poor

with a few fish and some bread

should we not expect more

from the richest nation

in the history of the world?

 

scabs are being ripped away

like the homes

revealing old wounds

bleeding sores

infected by the toxic scum

of lies we ingest

as the media contrived words to describe the people

when for five days they were treated like slaves

time warped to the days of whips, chains

and names that were not our own

 

slave ship screams

 

ancestors haunt in their hollers for help

in front of cameras that donít care

sending an S.O.S. of sorrow

to a world that looks on in pity and contempt

but hope doesnít stop hunger

and faith canít quench a thirst

mouths parched in the parish

surrounded by water

but canít take a drink

 

yes, this is hell

 

the smell of rotting flesh and feces

the stench of death

like Bushís breath hot with deceit

burning under a Louisiana sun

merciless as a slave master

hysterical heat

 

gnashing teeth, bleeding gums

and the children

the babies delirious with grief

 

and still they were trapped by the help that would come

abandoned by rescue teams on Highway 10

the help that didnít help

the help that held them hostage

at convention centers that became concentration camps

no refuge

no refuge

no refuge

for the women and their children

and the elders dying in their wheel chairs

 

smuggled to the super dome that became the prison at Abu Ghraib

blind-folded by the darkness

and tortured due to the ineptitude of officials

sinking in a cess pool of paranoia

held hostage by helplessness

 

how long did it take Africans

in texas to learn that they were free?

we know how slow the govít can be

when it comes to we

who are Black and poor

 

families again severed

like before

when the auction block was swollen with our blood and tears

the years are of no consequence

and now we wander the country looking for wives and sons, daughters and fathers, nanas, poppas, husbands and cousins and lovers and friends and mothers and nieces, nephews and Ö

tracing the scent of love in hope of embracing them again

on this side

pouring through webpages

hoping to notice a name that sounds like happiness

watching the tv

hoping to recognize a face

that resembles our own

looking for family

longing for home

 

and I can hear Nina Simone singing

"Mississippi Goddamn Blues"

we who picked cotton there

grew families out of the very ground

we never owned

sucked down gristle just to survive

raised God out the dust bowl

and blew life into our bodies

with nothing

nothing

nothing

but the defiant desire to live

and once more nothing is all we have

but the defiant desire to live again

resurrected like the Jeez that is us

who will march a jazz dirge

on down Bourbon Street

to honor those whose bodies still float in the 9th Ward?

who will rebuild the city

that city of saints and haints?

bring the reconstruction that never came after Lee surrendered the war

 

jim crow knows

let trent lott rot in the rubble of his plantation mansion

for all those that perished unnecessarily

 

yes there is anger

a raging flood of tears

 

Bush looted our taxes

sent them overseas

robbed our rights

cracked presidential jokes as the smoke still rose

"the soft bigotry of low expectations" is Bushís to claim

a smug racism he learned on his motherís knee

 

yes the U.S. is a Third World nation

no corporate press can cover the truth now

where dictators lie, cheat and steal

then kill the poor that would defy them

the emperor has no clothes

his ass is exposed

been stripped naked by his own shame

time to name names

 

there is a raging flood headed right to the White House

and FEMA canít rescue you now

 

what has happened here is a crime

the homicide of an entire city

 

hear the prophecy my ancestors sung

God showed Noah

by the rainbow sign

said it wont be water but fire next time

 

the flames are burning!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Osayandespeaks@hotmail.com

Copyright 2005 by Ewuare Osayande
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