White Knives, Blue Tears, & Red Whipshttps://barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2E610475-36C8-4771-AE7F-71F12D0C3825-e1534646088880.jpeg40321824Shirley Jones-LukeShirley Jones-Lukehttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/50baff1a6e85c8a9d0ed684e262f8374?s=96&d=mm&r=g
The whips fed on the blood of my forefather’s backs. Soaked it up like needed sustenance, leaving the drops for the soil
We cried into the sea, bodies floating there like black buoys bobbing atop the waves, the ships they leapt from sailing on
The moon revealed escape attempts. Brown bodies shining like dark stars in the light. Hounds at their heels
Our people fought in wars & were used as shields for white bodies, sacrificing themselves in the hopes of helping their families back home
We have a history of sacrifice & of forgiving. It may gain us a special place in Heaven but for now, we suffer a Hell on Earth
Shirley Jones-Luke is a poet and a writer. Ms. Luke lives in Boston, Mass. She has an MFA from Emerson College. Her work has appeared in journals and magazines. During the summer of 2018, Shirley was a participant at VONA and Tin House workshops.