The Blues of Blackness

“Death and life and in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

~ Proverb 18.21, NRSV

I am always last but never first,

always down and out, never up and over,

always angry– it comes with being black,

always defending but never safe.

I am born to follow orders but never to give them,

the obvious problem but never the solution,

the question that is impossible to answer.

“Why am I even here?”

I am the renter never the owner,

the borrower never the lender,

‘the help’ who is never assisted,

the victim always needing salvation and a hero.

I am always ugly and never beautiful,

flawed and failing,

not quite right and in need of correction,

the enemy, the beast, the monster– the stuff of nightmares,

check under your beds and in the closet.

I am dirty, unclean,

untouchable, an objectionable thing,

full of disease and empty of cures.

And there is no cure for being black.

I am always present but never seen except in cases of criminality;

then, I look like him and her, fitting the description

or was bound to do something wrong anyway.

I am arrested in so many ways.

I am the lawless never the law,

the bad apple, rotten fruit, spoiled humanity,

always guilty and never innocent.

I am the anathema of creation;

my God doesn’t even like me.

He doesn’t talk to me or answer my prayers.

And I suppose that He won’t like this song… because it is the blues.

We must be mindful of the confessions that we make about our lives; how many of us have sang the blues when it comes to our existence and as a result, have eaten its fruit?

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