An initiative of the Menil Collection with cultural, educational, and social justice organizations in the Greater Houston area.
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Jan 5
3:38 pm
By Menil

Regina Agu, Support, 2014, mixed media collage. Courtesy of the artist


Arms as iron trees
Arms sweaty
Protrude from hot concrete poetry
And the cities built
On Slave bones
Tremble on disfigured knees
During the season of
There is a thunder
Unleashed in those spoken fingers
And those fingers
Release potent pollen
Of power
Like nocturnal
Clenched fist posing
As wrecking balls
Tearing down
The Jim Crow Shuffle.
Those limbs sing
Decoded notes of
Nat Turner, ElDrewey Stearns,
Mickey Leland, Curtis Graves
Dark arms and white arms,
Brown arms, thick, boney, frail
Keep rising
from second-hand Democracy
posing in a Woolworths window
an ocean of
fist rise from
the urban middle passage
choreographed to
a gospel chant…
“Arms are rising
Fist to the heavens
Arms are rising
No more oppression
Arms are rising
The people have spoken
Freedom is our omen.”
Arms as iron trees

Poem by Thomas Meloncon