African woman in traditional clothes in field of crops at sunset or sunrise panorama

Poetry: Two Voyages to CommonWEALTH

Beautiful black woman sits on throne like chair with her two children around her.

Two Voyages to CommonWEALTH

My umbilical cord is long, is strong, stretches colonies, centuries, countries, continents.
We are all so very happy and always Christian and sing in the choir we are all smiling, serving, joyous
Do I Make You Happy?
Do I bring you joy?

My umbilical cord is strong enough to withstand the journeys in shackles,
the auctioneers block,
begging to not be separated from those whose language I found familiar,
the beatings and wailed skin, the breeding farms and displacements,
the witness to the rape of our men to submission,
and of women to warm your bellies, as and when.

Yes, we are always so happy and sing in the choir
we sing for a religion that used its text to justify my degrading treatment,
it was God’s Will, you told us, Jesus himself got off his cross & signed the contract of my peoples’ annihilation…

But my umbilical cord withstood the kidnapping of children born of my hips in our motherland,
born on your plantations,
born fatherless,
and the displacement of my religion, language, our names.

…where were you God? I cried out to you each day; morning, daytime, night time
All day I was their Field Nigger, their House Nigger
All night I was the Massa’s
And any time that I had for Me, I used crying out to you

Your ambassadors said suffer now and be rewarded in the Promised Land
Your representatives, blonde haired, blue eyed, freed me from my Pagan religion
my conversion solidified my commitment in servitude to you.

You tried to sever me from everything that made me Me
But my umbilical cord is thick, course, strong, dark brown, locked,
like the crown I wear on my head,
it harbours the DNA of We.

Each child bore before me, after me, has the fingerprint of resistance
inherited from those who took the sadistic voyage.
The umbilical cord is an anointment of the will of Us to get up out of this bullshit
…and be gone.

But our trust in the only motherland we can remember was a setup,
a ploy to get us to work for you again.
I left my children with their grandparents and took our second voyage to build you up because you begged me

Your people, your infrastructure, your reserves.
Further separation from their loved ones, in a foreign land.
We drove the buses in the dark,
cleaned your streets
wiped your arses; nursed you, Calor Gas, chilblains, Darkie, Wogs,
fruitless trees and grey skies.
Our coffers were measly as yours grew exponentially

Whilst we fought your wars for you,
Continue to fight the media’s lies of who we are,
you tore up my papers to disprove my existence,
my footprints on this land.

Melissa Simmonds
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4 Comments

  1. There are Bible passages that emphasize freedom too

    1. What do you mean? Continue singing in the choir?

      1. The Promised Land, away from Egypt’s slavery, Harriet Tubman became Moses.

  2. I have never seen this story more beautifully told. Thank you for this fine art. And your work on behalf of autistics.

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