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Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Sharing Four

Mama Tayé's Elder Prayer - Sharing Four
by Tayé Foster Bradshaw

The crispness of the air ushers us into the change of seasons and forces us to acknowledge that we are part of a massive universe, only a dot in the atmosphere of time. In so pausing to remember that we did not create the sun that warms us, the breeze that cools us, and the moon that soothes us, we also pause to remember that we also did not get here alone and must honor, respect, and thank those who walked before us, must remember and honor the path they set out and the example they set, must humble ourselves in our momentary slumber, lured away form the righteous cause by the trinkets dangled before us and the promises unkept.
This day that greets us with heavy minds and heavy hearts as news of yet another brother meeting an untimely end at the end of a weapon, we are reminded of the reason we gathered together in unity and peace to fight for those who have no voice and to march for those who have no legs. We are one and as one will move as a school in the vast ocean of hate, discrimination, and violence that threatens the very lives of our being. We are greater than hate, violence, and discrimination when we stand together, locked arm-in-arm and surrender our individual for our collective.
Let us who are awake and conscious support those on the front lines with our resources of time and talent and tenth. Let us know that this is a marathon that we will win as we collectively take one step toward our goal. Let us know that when our legs weaken and buckle under the weight, that our brother and sister will be there to catch up, lift us up, and if necessary, carry us forward. Let us honor the connected selves of we the people of the sun, kissed by the warmth of the ancients.
In a moment of serenity and thoughts of the sea from which our ancestors crossed, the circle of souls in the dark deep, causing the waves and the currents to carry on their mourning cry, let us honor those voices and feel in our spirit the sojourn toward right justice.
This is not a swift end nor a quick answer. Let us not grow weary in our well doing and let us remain patient in our walk together with each other even as those booming voices speak out our truth and demand answers for the unjust actions upon our persons.
Wishing hate and demise upon no one, we proudly, boldly, and confidently proclaim also our right to full personhood, life , liberty, and that pursuit of happiness that is ingrained in the hallmark of the land filled with the blood of the darker brothers, the tears of the darker sisters. Let us carry forward.
Reminding ourselves and each other of the divine order of time that brought us to this place, let us link hearts and arms, join together in this United Front, and push toward that goal. We know we face opposition and patronizing offers of a token carrot when our people have been starving without bread, we know we face those who think this will go away and the sons of the street remind us they are still there, the daughters of the mic remind us they are still there. We will not stop,
Hold fast, hold on, and journey on, my great and mighty people.
Walk on, run on, and carry on, my daughters and sons of the earth's kiss.
Talk on, sing on, and write on, my sisters and brothers with the scribe's voice.
We are one, one, one and we will remain and it is so.
Asé, Mama Tayé's Elder Prayer.

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The Burden

This isn't mine anymore

What?

This.

She stretched out her hands
the parcel neatly wrapped
brown paper
with a
red bow

What is this?

Take it, it is your's.

But

No, it is not mine to carry
Anymore

What do you mean?

I mean that I am giving it back
it was never mine
anyway

I don't understand

You never did.

I don't want it.

Take it.

No.

So she
dropped
it
right
where
she stood.

And turned
and walked away.

The package was never her's to hold.
So she let it go.


Tayé Foster Bradshaw is the poet's nom de plumme. She resides in a suburb of St. Louis surrounded by her family, her books, her pens, and her lattes.

This poem is inspired by the lives and burdens of many women, particularly women of color, who are forced to carry the cares, thoughts, and expectations of others without regard to their own wants, needs, and health. This poem is a release.




Black Mama Tears

It rained this afternoon

Loud claps of thunder

Almost couldn't see the rain

For my tears falling down

Black Mama Tears

too many

dying

in their sleep

on a run

at a store

too many

stopped

just walking

just working

just breathing

It rained today

And I couldn't see

for all the weeping

of

Black

Mamas.

Bridges by Tayé Foster Bradshaw

Walking
across time
Bringing me to you
or
you to me
over a way through-
tears and fears
to bring us to
the other side of possibility
probability
reality
reality
crossing
structures
through
over
under
hold on
don't look down
look down
walk on over
dance on over
wheels on over
over over over
water and roads and
all the modes that
bring
me
to
you
or





you
to
me
collectively
connected
collaborating
across
the great
wide
way


©2016. Tayé Foster Bradshaw Group, Antona Smith. All Rights Reserved.

Bridges used to scare me as a little girl. In the town where I grew up, in order to get from my neighborhood over to the swimming pool or summer activities, we walked. I was always fine until we reached the crest of the hill and that looming structure that connect roads-to-roads, over cars zooming beneath, promising me opportunity on the other side, if I just trusted the weight of my tiny skinny nine-year-old self against the wind blowing or the sun streaming over this manmade steal structure.  My l…