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Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering NIne

Mama Taye's Elder's Prayer - Offering Nine
Hear the crisp crackle of the wind in threes. Feel the breeze brush past the chilled cheek. Touch the gloved hand and find a moment to inhale. Then exhale. Settle into the space of calm before the storm. Rest there a moment with the cloud of witnesses blowing heaven's kisses. Inhale.
These are times unlike times before and just like times before so let we who are awake remain on watch, on vigil, on task so that all may be awake and all may be free. Let us continue the quest for justice for without it, there is a requirement that peace be disturbed. Let those who are the faces and voices and soldiers on these front lines of this movement know that they do not stand alone. Let them feel the soil deep roots that buoy them up and let them know there are many who stand with them. Let those whose time is past and who squandered their opportunity, step back and realize that all they need to do now is provide assistance, support, and voice where needed. Let those who are trying to make a name for themselves be quieted by the resounding call for unity, justice, and freedom. It is our duty to fight.
On this eve before evil and saint, when some dress up to wreck havoc, let the exposure be in the removing of the mask and the true intent be blinded by a thousand points of truth. Let motives against freedom and justice for the marginalized be exposed and let those who have realize they do not have it alone. Let there be light.
In the moment and silence before or if announcements of justice prevailing come or do not come, let the feet not grow weary and continue marching, let the voices not grow hoarse and continue shouting, let the call continue to resound for this must be the loosening of chains.
Justice has a ring in the calling and this week, let the clarion sound for the ballot box, let the mark of the pen or the punch on the machine ring out across this land, as the elders and ancients looking on, those who died for the right so many now take for granted. Let those who try to stop the vote be met with the resilency of those who insist they will exercise their democracy on the protest line and in the ballot box. Let us take up their call as our duty to fight for our freedom and our duty to win, win against those who take the vote for granted and win against those who are afraid of our vote so they block it. Let's push past and take up the mantle of righteous action against unrighteous deeds.
In this day, we will remind the ones who feel secure in their suburban enclaves that there can be on safety when there are those attacked by the ones meant to protect. Let them know that eventually the chains will come for them unless that stand up and speak out also. 
We hear the call of the crisp air and we answer collectively and with clarity that we will loosen our chains, we will stand united, and we will win.
Let it be, let it be, let it be.


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The Burden

This isn't mine anymore



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

What is this?

Take it, it is your's.


No, it is not mine to carry

What do you mean?

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

I don't understand

You never did.

I don't want it.

Take it.


So she
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


in their sleep

on a run

at a store

too many


just walking

just working

just breathing

It rained today

And I couldn't see

for all the weeping




Bridges by Tayé Foster Bradshaw

across time
Bringing me to you
you to me
over a way through-
tears and fears
to bring us to
the other side of possibility
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

the great

©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…