A New Day Has Come


i rose with the sun

and bathed myself in memories
born of blood

i reached back
and dressed myself in the whip-cracked flesh
of Fredrick Douglass

his words echoing like thunder in my head

then i put on Harriet Tubman’s eyes
as glasses and viewed
this day through the far-sighted lens of herstory

when i put on my shoes
I laced up Fannie Lou Hamer’s feet
tired of being sick and tired
and marched to the polls
singing her gospel symphony

when i arrived
i pulled the curtain behind me
and broke out into a breakdance
as if i were on the corner of 125th and Lenox
in Harlem
reciting Malcolm X’s “Ballot or the Bullet” speech
under my breath

then I coughed up the shard
that shot through King
and squeezed it in my hand
til it turned to dust
and tattooed the words
on my soul

then i took my mother’s hand
~ bless her heart
and together we pulled the lever
and with millions of others
made history

and then her spirit whispered to me:

“a new day has come, son”

then i walked out of the booth
knowing that the struggle isn’t over.

it has only just begun.

copyright 2008 by Ewuare X. Osayande

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