"Overboard"

“Overboard” (December 2014)


(For all of my brothers, the named and the nameless; your voices echo in our hearts and minds. This piece approaches the recent tragedies of police violence and racial profiling, drawing parallels with the innumerable casualties of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Published on Urban Cusp - http://www.urbancusp.com/2015/01/overboard/#.dpuf)


this ship is lost at sea
We the People, trapped in transit
time-traversing refugees
dreams deferred, & then abandoned


has the weight of this great nation
forced your eyes toward the ground?
have you bent beneath the burden
of this skin, this shameless brown?


you walked alone in search of home
the journey wore you thin
brother, I’ll reach overboard
& pull you safely in


a generation echoes
from the depths of ocean graves
unnatural disaster,
& we wonder who’s to blame


we share this sacred oxygen,
we’re all trying to breathe
hands lifted in surrender
to a ruthless, raging sea


you walked alone in search of home
the journey wore you thin
brother, I’ll reach overboard
& pull you safely in


neatly sectioned city blocks,
triangles in the sea
this journey is amorphous,
changing shape by century


finally the compass found
we trace this chalk, our map
the shape of loss immeasurable
now etched into our path


these shackles will be silhouettes,
this voyage soon will cease
brother, take my hand
& Love will guide us through the deep.

Tyné Freeman