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Poem in honor of Black History Month

The blues of my body
shaped like remnants of a continent
whirling, scattered, swallowed emotion
dancing shadows in the ocean

The blues of my body
have a midnight pigmentation
bear the color of burning cotton
the meaning of one word never forgotten

The blues of my body
reveal a bruised and battered map
roads and rivers marked by footsteps
remember each and every attack

The blues of my body
hear a cadence from the fields
gentle pulsing of whispered noises
melodic humming of ancestors voices

The blues of my body
is a museum to the past
stolen sympathy for my people
stuck in wood, cement and glass

The blues of my body
remain the substance of my soul
dwelling deep inside my marrow
still, these blues own no control

– Vaughan Bradley-Willemann, senior