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War on My Skin

Felicia Washington-Forrest

There is a war on my skin.
And it didn’t begin with my parents’ bodies.
It wasn’t ceased by a signed document.
Didn’t desist when the chains fell off.
Time didn’t end it, only camouflaged it.
Soldiers dressed up as my fellowmen,
Riding in cars (not horses) this time
With flashing lights and sounds,
Guns (not ropes) stay strapped and loaded,
Ready to fire…

On me?

After all the abductions and auctions…
Rape and torture…
Separation of families…
Destruction of possessions…
Lynchings and beatings…
Being hunted like an animal…
And the criminal looks like me?
My reproduction feeling like a curse,
Not a blessing
Dark babies falling from my womb—
I hate the day they’ll feel this gloom
I know eventually they’ll say it, too

“There’s a war on my skin!
America, it all began with you.”

2 thoughts on “War on My Skin

  1. Jan

    Dear Felicia, You have written a very moving piece of literature. It is artistic and educational at the same time. I am so very sorry for your pain. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone and yet I know it exists everywhere. I will continue to educate my friends and family to try and understand the constant yet often unrecognized prejudice that surrounds our society. May God give you strength to get thru the hurting times and may they become fewer and fewer. PEACE

  2. Frank Figgers

    “Stay Strong” May the Great God of all that is known and unknown keep you in the peace that defies human description or understanding!!!

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