Raphael Evangelista
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Poem About Slavery

A walk in the history of slavery and its horrible effects 

I gaze up at the sky, there it is,

The Moonflower.

The only thing I watch out for, during the noon hours.

I stared at it, hoping it’ll do the same.

It burns my eyes, I’m hoping it’ll burn the pain.

Give me guidance, give me a sign, give me hope,

Give me a place to tie my end of the rope.

Moonflower, I sigh, I think this is my limit,

It shines back as I see my life flash in a minute.

Grew up in Virginia, skin colour ain’t the same.

Was having a normal day until white people came.

My parents were strong, but they both started to cry,

Then came up a crooked smile, and I knew that was a lie.

A white man grabbed me, my mother hushed me, so I can’t complain,

Whipped me in the back as he linked me to a chain.

I looked back, they’re both gone, I’m confused,

The man told me to move, I got whipped as I refuse.

Not knowing what to do, I passed out in fear.

Woke up as I was sold by an auctioneer.

My mother approached me, she leaned in to whisper,

I couldn’t hear what she’s saying, I pulled in and kissed her.

She warned me about the danger, to never forget her,

To be strong and be brave even if we’re not together.

She kissed me on my forehead, then she got pulled away,

I listened closely to the last words that she wanted to say.

“Look around little John, at this time of noon,

For a flower that blooms at the light of the moon.

The sun is still there but it fades away,

To leave behind footprints that’s made yesterday.

But look at the moon, the moon is your friend,

The moon is our sign that our love never ends.

Look up little John, Look up little John.”

I bursted in tears, that could put out a flame,

I fear that’s the last time she’ll be saying my name.

I got dragged away, whipped and tossed in a cart.

But this pain couldn’t compare to the pain in my heart.

My tears have ran dry as we started moving,

The white man still whipping cus’ he finds it amusing.

We got to our destination, I can’t feel my back,

Red blood painted over my skin that is black.

I feel like this is punishment for being a black kid,

But once the homeowners came, I got so distracted.

A woman came out, glowing like an angel in the skies.

That smooth skin and that pale face, she was an angel in disguise.

I fell to my knees as I got slapped in the face.

Another white man saying that he owns the place.

The woman helped me up, the first one to feel bad for me.

The white man scolding her that I was a blasphemy.

The worst thing about it is that I almost believed him,

But the woman made me forget the words so deceiving.

The woman noticed my back, damn I almost forgot.

She started running towards me as I collapse on the spot.

Then I woke up again, but this time on a bed.

I really hoped that I was dreaming or if I was just dead.

The man told me “Get up, there’s a lot to do,

Just be thankful for Mary who was defending you.

But this is our first time, first time having a slave.

I’m not as nice as Mary so you better behave.”

I was lost in words, so I just stood there frozen.

He told me to “Get to work!” and the door swung open.

Mary said I shouldn’t, not in my condition.

I almost cried when I realized that this is prison.

I interrupted the two, then I asked what to do,

Then the man stated chores as we walk out the room.

But then he took me outside, landing into the field.

Telling me that I’ll be working here once I have healed.

Told me pick up the cotton, throw it into the basket.

And that help will never come to you if you ever ask it.

I sucked up the pain, then I started to pick,

Surprised, he realized that I was doing it quick.

Then he left me alone, just out here by myself.

I convinced myself for sure that I didn’t need any help.

I look around for a way, as I try to escape,

To escape from all this pain I know I couldn't embrace.

Then I looked around me, started searching for the flower,

The one my mother said would come out in this hour.

I couldn’t find a single clue, maybe just not today.

Maybe I won’t ever, maybe when I start to fade.

I try to go back inside, but I got whipped instead.

The man told me that I gotta live and sleep in the shed.

I walk away feeling scared, what will happen to me?

Things are happening, things I didn’t want to believe.

I walked in the shed, it’s cold with no roof to cover me.

I laid down as I watch the moon stare down at me.

Moon, how exactly are you my friend? Why do you show your light?

I think the reason why I look up to you, is because you're white.

The reason why my mom believes, the reason why she’s gone.

But the only thing that’s there to support me for holding on.

Will you shine on me enough to paint a picture of my mother?

Will you shine on me enough so that my skin can change its colour?

I fell asleep with the lost thought of freedom,

That if I’m here then I must be here for a reason.

I woke up alarmed, as I’m already getting whipped,

The white man telling me to wake up as he lights the cigar between his lips.

Every second feels like an hour, a minute feels like days,

I can’t last one more second of the king I was forced to praise.

Everyday was a routine, I worked for hours and hours,

But the reason behind it is to find this moonflower.

That maybe I’m suffering for something greater,

For something that’s worth it that will come by later.

So everyday I did the same thing,

Everyday I served the same king.

Still, days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, it’s scary,

I feel dead inside I’m just waiting to be buried.

I look up one last time, before I lose my mind.

Before I lose hope and leave everything behind.

Now I’m back in the beginning, I found the moonflower.

The only thing I watched out for during the noon hours.

I’ve feared for this day, not ever coming true.

Even when I was afraid, I kept on trusting you.

It’s pale, white colour glares upon me.

I call for its name but in the end it just ignores me.

But it gave me a sign for my pain to cope,

To leave this place with the end of a rope.

It’s ironic, something white has forced me into this conclusion.

But I don’t see another way for any solution.

My mother was wrong, my mother lied,

Cus’ I’m convinced you can never trust anything in this world that is white.

Where will I be? Where will I go?

Will I be free? I’ll never know.

But not knowing the difference between what’s wrong and right,

Is another reason added for me to end this miserable life.

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