Once I was a little black girl
Swinging in a tree asking my self,
Why doesn’t everybody recognize
How special it is to be me?
Why do I tame my hair?
Modify my speech
Altering the natural free ways of being
An ethnically charged princess
Soon to be queen of the Diaspora
Impending a sense of dread
Whenever my appearance is made —
What the heck is the matter with these people?
Don’t they realize I’m no danger to an ill society?
Already twisted and bent by its own ideology
A contradiction of words
Blocked out by semantics waiting to be heard
By people who believe American is a language?
I swung on that tree
And looked up at the rope which held my tire and wondered
Why it was once called a noose,
Wondering why people who purported to be
“One nation under God, indivisible”
Could pretend He was invisible
As they used a stalwart oak
The life out of somebody’s father, brother, husband or son
As if nearby weeping willows cried for no reason
In the name of justice
Three-fifths of a man
IS THAT WHY IT WAS ALLOWED?
Is that why my people never RSVP’d to the lynching party?
Now that I’m older it is not hard for me to understand
Why my man gets upset at every reprimand
Somebody always on his back
Watching his every move.