Tuesday, July 12, 2011

By Donna  Louise


Forgive

 (an excerpt of a dialogue which spans three generations)

Why da peoples always looking down on us?
…. I don know.
We works, we slave for da white mane.
My churen, dey thank I was too hard on dem.
But dats what dey need.
Hard work,
too much fun make um lazy.
How dey gwoin get somewhere in life, if all dey do is play.
So yea, I made mines work , sun up to sun down.
All day.
Dey didn’t like it much, dey didn’t even like me much,
But it was fer dey own good.
I took um to chorch too.
Dey went,
dey sang in da choir.
Dey was ershels on the junior ershal boad.
Den time dey was old ‘nuf to have dey way,
Dey stopped gwoin to chorch.
Dey say, dey don’t wont to be no hypocrite.
….Dey seen too much.
Me and dey Momma
fightin, cussin,
Her sneakin,
My beatin.
Dey don’t wont no parts uh chorch.
But dey knows God….
Dey knows to pray when thangs gets hard.
I likes to think I taught um dat.
Why every body so hard on da Black mane?
Ain’t no other mane ever mess’d up?
What bout all dem slave masta’s, sneakin off to da slave quartas
In da middle of da night?
Wasn’t dey spose ta be home wif dey churen and wife?
Why we got to take all the flack jes cause we’s Black?
What we do to deserve such pain?
What God gat ‘gist the Black mane.
Make me feel like bein born a Black mane,
Is a cryin shame.
I wish I could come back and redeem my name….

Why was you always so hard on us?
All the other kids were in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
And you said,
Ain’t nothin to dat stuff.

They were always dressed so nice.
Their mommas gave us their hand me downs.
Momma washed them and ironed them and we wore them
to church.

Their worse clothes were our best clothes.
Why were we so po?
The Preacher’s kids.
I just want to know.
You work’d two , sometimes three jobs.
Ford Motor Company in the afternoons,

shade tree mechanic and a
janitor at night
We had to be quiet as little church mice,
Don’t wake him up,
Shhhh, be quite.
You was like some mystery man who
slept during the day and only came out at night.
If you say, you did it for us
I beg to differ.
We never had nothing.
Momma used to steal from the grocery money
so we could go on our class field trips.
"If you want to go, don’t tell yo Daddy"
She used to say.
Why was you always so tight?
Frugal, stingy?
It just wasn’t right…
I don’t understand it to this day.


I could just keep quiet, but I’m gonna talk.
I did what I saw all da utter mens do.
Dey worked and saved dey money for dem self.
One day yo' wife gone finally leave you
Fo' some utter mane.
Dem kids ain’t never gone be good fo nothin'.
So I sent my money down south.
On some land.
Twenty acres,
going back and recapture my youth…
Dat was my plan.
Why everybody so hard on da Black man?
Nigga gotta do, what a nigga gotta do,
Scuse my French.

See, that's what I’m talking bout.
You could have chose another way, but you perpetuated the curse.
I don’t know what’s worse.
We were po and we didn’t have to be,
Because all you thought about was me, me, me.



to be continued