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Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering Eight

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer, Offering Eight
Calling on the one who is greater than the sun, the one who shines light upon us and exposes the darkness of hate and fear. Calling upon the one who brought new year and new light in the same week and covered the night voices proclaiming their duty to fight. Calling upon the great you to lead us into this journey.
it is our duty cries the daughters and sisters who declare time to change the narrative, that remind us that black lives matter and all life has value. That we have a duty to unite, organize, and deploy to the place of the real work of social justice and humanity.
From the middle out as watchers descend on the gateway city and declare the human rights abuses of those with a badge in the land of the free, we pause in the felt presence and watchful eye of the great cloud of witnesses, to center ourselves, the strengthen ourselves and prepare ourselves for the great work ahead.
As seasons change and night becomes day and the warmth of roots fills our soul, let us hold onto the righteousness of the youthful charge, to go forth and to shout with a unified voice, to be unmoved.
One then two then three then more lights snuffed out with the fire from the fearful hands in blue and the people mourn, cried out, mother's and father's hearts rendered in two, anguish filled the soul and to the streets they continue in the face of threats and trolls and surveillance to declare that our lives matter.
In this moment where hate threatens to darken the sky of the arch reaching so high, love and honor and commitment and overpower the clouds of darkness, unity confounds the enemy. Let us keep walking in light and finding in each other that spark of fire igniting purpose that makes us declare no more, that wakens us from our stuppor.
We who sleep no more and keep the night watch pause to honor the warriors, the sisters and brothers with the tireless feet and the powerful chant to the ancient drum beat of our soul, we keep on, we must, we must, we must for "we who believe in freedom will not rest until it comes."
Asé, Mama Tayé

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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…