What my elders teach me

at A Phillip Randolph Senior Center with one of the seniors I teach/learn from every week, today I shared a poem from my first book Mules Fight Back.

I wrote this poem in the wake of the Charleston Nine shooting in South Carolina.

me: “I’m very tired”

my mother: “YOU’RE tired. You only just got here… we have to keep pushing”

old saying from my aunt bunny: I’ll sleep when I’m dead

African proverb: However long the night may last, there will be a morning

Many older than me have survived decades of shots fired by those with small minded views just to hear about 9 more of our people murdered

In recent news

So I refuse

to be black-and-blue

hopeless or uninspired

when I look up to see those older than me fired up

and far from tired

So instead of giving up

I will eat skittles

wear hoodies

swim. pray. breathe

and not be afraid

And instead of sitting down

I will stand up, speak, fight

and not be enslaved

(c) 2015 Kristin Richardson Jordan

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