I Wonder. I Really, Really Wonder.

Posted on June 27, 2011 by

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I Wonder

By Dr. Patricia Newton

(The following poem was read by Sis. Newton at the Richmond, VA Juneteenth Celebration, as an introductory prelude to her presentation.)

I Wonder. I really, really wonder.

I wonder how it came to be that African gods and goddesses and kings and queens

and everyday folks like we were stolen and taken across the sea to far away and distant places,

beaten and chained in God-forsaken spaces, raped and castrated without any traces

by those with strange names, and whose alien faces can still be found today amongst all the racists.

I wonder how it came to be that African gods and goddesses and kings and queens

and everyday folks like we could have two eyes but we still don’t see  the pain and misery of days gone by still casting its spell and weaving its web and telling its lie in the hearts and minds and souls of those of us who lost our names but we did not die.

Mercy, oh, mercy, above the ocean’s roar, don’t you hear the ancestors call.

I wonder how it came to be that African gods and goddesses and kings and queens

and everyday folks like we could still bow our heads on bended knee and

ask for forgiveness of their great sins while the guilty ones continue to grin and

make new slave ships to put us in by age, religion, sex and color of skin — creating new deaths from without and within. O Lord, My God, when will it end?

I wonder how it came to be that African gods and goddesses and kings and queens

and everyday folks like we could dance and shout with such delight and glee

when we walk that walk and talk that talk just like the man, you see. But should a sister or brother stumble and fall, (humph) won’t stop long enough to give a helping hand at all,

turning a deaf ear to every cry.

Come on, y’all, let’s have a party! Let’s go get high!

Start some new world wars! Play a few games of ball!

Mercy, oh, mercy, above the ocean’s roar, don’t you hear the ancestors calling.

I wonder how it came to be that African gods and goddesses and kings and queens

and everyday folks like we could take from scratch and make every imaginable recipe

and be the best at whatever we see, but through all of this death, destruction and debauchery

we still don’t know yet quite how to be free. I wonder. I really, really wonder.

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