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Whose Children Are These?

Whose children are these? Who do these children belong to? With no power to watch over, He looks at them, sleeping, Exhaustion overwhelming hunger, Barely protected with burlap from the cold Cabin, Fear and rage make him tremble For them; for himself, shame that he can do no more than die for them, for no certain purpose. He heard about the woman, Margaret Garner, in spite of the white folks’ silence. How she killed two of hers To keep them from being taken back; killed herself after the others were taken back Anyway.  So she saved Two.  He couldn’t save his Ellen and Henry. Who do these belong to? He doesn’t dare kiss them Now, but he stands dreaming, Willing these five back To a place or forward to a time He can’t remember or imagine. All he can do is find the place He knows about. Leave now Before dawn sets the white fields ragingII Grandsire, I kissed, blessed, chewed and swallowed your rage when I stood over the five you sent, warm in their beds, and forced-fed my stunned dumb soul to believe someone owned, someone bought, someone sold at will our children, Grandsire, I held them, I held them as you could not, and revered that fierce mother whose courage and whose solution I could not. But we have not rescued them altogether; we moved them through one dimension, from one killing field to another on history’s flat page, 1850s’ slavery to 1980s’ racism and murder. Baraka has told us “They have made this star unsafe, and this age, primitive,” and it is so.  I have stood over each sleeping child and looked at each child and wanted to know who decides to break our hearts one by one by one. The Greeks named it Tyche and made a goddess of chance. Here they call it this god’s mysterious Will. I have the children, but we have not saved them from this primitive star, and I am unable to forgive.


Gerald Barrax

Lets not leave the children (all children) to either chance or the mysterious Will of this primitive star – but have the fierce courage of Margaret Garner and refuse to allow them to be taken back.  For more on Margaret Garner. Peace, Tenthltr2u

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