#PoemADay No.26: Wakanda Forever


Am I negro, am I prince,
am I black excellence,
am I oppressed?
Am I T’Challa, omo naija,
or am I Killmonger, burning rose grown
from Harlem’s cracked concrete?
Am I Jabari, lone wolf forgotten,
am I pampered poster child in the privilege
of my native garments?

Are we an army, or a tired, tattered militia,
are we black panthers,
or the lost children of Wakanda?
Are we rivals, are we family,
we cannot mend broken bonds,
connect ancestors long separated,
or can we?

Are you black, or fifty shades of brown,
are you slave, or are you crown?
Are you Israel, are you Detroit,
are you both, neither, or are you more?

Who is your father? Who is your king?
Who are your people? What is your name?
How bad did they bruise you?
How long you gone let them?
How many hymns you gone sing?
How many days you gone weep?

Who is your father, who is your king,
what is your likeness, what is your aim?
What set do you claim, what tribe do you rep?
Go ‘head, beat on your chest, then tell me
what’s next.
What tongue do you speak,
how deep is your click,
how thick are your chains?
Go ‘head, tell me your name.

Tell me your god,
then tell me your pain,
show me your blood,
and I’ll show you the same,
the vibranium in our skin
that withstood the lashes,
constellations vibrating in our genes,
our daughters & ancestors,
long after they burned our churches
to ashes.

But hear me,
black girl magic is redundant,
black boy joy is coming.
Pan Africa is the new Africa,
the diaspora laid the foundation & finessed the plumbing.
But who holds the well, who’ll bring us together,
who’s got the water, who’s got the answers,
who is your father, who blended this blackness in skin
and called it a temple?

Are we dirty relics of a broken people,
or are we Eden’s heirlooms?
Is home just a fantasy,
or are can we patiently wait on the bridegroom?


Cover Photo by henri meilhac on Unsplash