I am a living legacy
To my ancestors and family
To the loss and recovery
Of my own spirit
To endless hope
In a world of unfilled expectations
I am a living legacy
To my people and my god
To my own integrity
That sometimes waffles
Inside my own humanity
Never perfect
I am a living legacy
To all my mistakes
And my parents’ parents’ parents’
And all their mistakes
Translated into lessons learned
And I am a living legacy
To all their triumphs too
To all the traumas overcome
The breakdown of ceilings
And the building of bridges too
Yes I am a living legacy
Of what all my parts and paths and pasts
Compel me to do
Constantly held accountable to my ancestors
And what I know to be true

I am also a living legacy
To poetic lines scribbled on napkins saved into published works
That I stumbled on in pre-teen years and began to feel less alone
Lines like “still I rise”

I am also a living legacy
To harder lines too
Lines like “we wear the mask”
And having dreams deferred

I am also a living legacy
To “I love you” said aloud
To tests and testimonies
And “upwardly mobile” parents
To putting in the work
And knowing it’s all worth it

I am a living legacy

To immovable faith

Black spirituality
Black hope
And Black love

I am a living legacy
Hoping to do my part
To touch this world
Even just a little bit

(c) 2017 “living legacy” by Kristin Richardson Jordan
Kristin is the author of the book Mules Fight Back which can be found on Amazon and PensUp