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Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Offering Twelve, Day 100+7 Completion

Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer - Day 100+7 Completion
The chirping birds sing out the song of morning calling us to our purpose, they greet us as sleep is left behind 400 years of midnight haze to rise like the sun over the mountains to declare our presence. We ain't going no where.
On the dawning of the day that was supposed to say a yes or no but they announced they could not decide, the people still still rise up and stand up in front of and declare, We ain't going no where.
See when the tanks and the armor from across the country came and the undercover tried to say they were a student and the hate of hate pulled off the sheets and picked up badge and baton, they thought they could scare the youth away. We ain't going no where.
When they pulled little bit from the crowd to try to quiet her voice, one of the few among the men with found voices, she held tight and they surrounded the cell, demanding her release, they thought she would be scared, silenced, her tiny frame resilient. We ain't going no where.
They pulled a commission of names noted and not,righteous ones and opportune ones and ones who want to make a difference under the elected one who can not appreciate the sunkissed souls he wants them to study. They were sworn in and the people still said, We ain't going no where.
Fear became the mantra and the weapon as schools closed and windows boarded up and people left town. Clarion calls rang out, gas mask training and memories of Kent State and Lincoln University a lifetime ago and the people still said, We ain't going no where.
When they reached into the crowd to hank out, drag out, and pull off the clergy woman's vest, when they spied on twitter accounts and tried to get activists' phones, when they followed them in unmarked cards and a fleet drown down the highway, when billboards of hate go up and they build a house for a sign, when they hang the carrot of a decision, and the shelves are empty of guns, when they do all these things to let hysteria rise - the activists still say, We ain't going no where.
Death threats to those carrying the words and stalkers outside houses and scared rookies blew out the promise of another son and Ferguson became Brooklyn and the people shout, We ain't going no where.
When father brings nourishment to thank his people for standing up and the mainstream misses that real story while tweets are ablaze of what he did, when father teaches son and mothers are teaching daughters and families are at Mama Cat's table, the mainstream misses that real story while tweets are ablaze of what they did. They think if they ignore it, they can keep telling the teleLIE, but the truth rings out in lifestream cameras - We ain't going no where.
In the cold, they came, in the rain they came, in the dark of rising winter's night, they came. They came to the usual and they came to the seat of power, they came, they came, they came. They spoke to powers and to people and the people are dancing in the streets - We ain't going no where.
The birds keep chirping out the morning song like a mockingjay whistling in the wind and the people move at once. It is this that they want to stop, that they want to squash, the revolution that was not televised but was tweeted, this sunkissed soul they thought they squashed from twenty years of overzealousness rose up and said - We ain't going no where.
May we who are united be vigilant as we continue to join together - We ain't going no where.
Mama Tayé's Elder's Prayer
Antona Brent Smith


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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…