Sounds Like

Location

98032
United States
47° 24' 42.0732" N, 122° 14' 42.5724" W

Nigger, to me, sounds like nooses and hangings.
It sounds like, "Whites Only," and "No Coloreds Allowed."
It sounds like, "we shall overcome" marches -
like overcoming was the only thing my people knew how to do.

It sounds like Rosa Parks sitting in front of the bus because her damn feet were tired.
It sounds like my great-grandparents picking cotton on some white man's garden.
It sounds like "I have a dream that one day.." type of speeches -
my words are coded with the stench of my ancestors.

It sounds like burning houses, courtesy of the Klu Klux Khlan.
It sounds like sweat and dirt and disease from slave boats.
It sounds like the tearing of back flesh.
It sounds like the bombing of an Alabama church -
screams of those four little brown girls is shut up like fire.

It sounds like a jazz saxophone humming the emotions of a battered soul -
my soul cries out for love of humanity.

It sounds like "still I rise" through it all type of literature.
It sounds like pitter-pattering of protesting feet.
It sounds like "yes mas'er, no mas'er."
It sounds like the lack of education provided for Black people.

It sounds the ghost of my past, shinning through my future.
It sounds like thousands of families living off the government's cheese.
It sounds like black clouds hovering over my head.
It sounds like being followed in a clothing store.

It sounds like the bleaching of my skin -
my skin is nothing but a black curse on my generation.
It sounds like holding hands with my shadow.
It sounds like black on black crimes.

It sounds like "I'm sorry Miss, we couldn't keep your son alive."
It sounds like hatred -
like hate was our only religion.
Like hatred was the only thing people believed in.

Nigger, to me, sounds like nooses and hangings.
How does it sound to you?

Guide that inspired this poem: 

Comments

RebeccaYSPerez

I absolutly adore how your poem remained strong froms start to finish. In fact I think the last line is unneeded. You could have kept it with just "Nigger to me sounds like nooses and hangings." Just so that you can finish with a punch, just as you started. It was an incredible piece. Good luck in the contest!

Poetic Faith

To have a poem with such deep meaning that can make your heart heavy is a poem worth talking about...and this is one of them.

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