Tears for Water

by Marilyn Ferrell

Last night I drank tears for water.

Tonight, however, I’m reigning,
 I’m reclaiming me, 
breaking the chains upon me,
keeping my head above
the sun,
balancing the moon in the 
palm of my hand,
hails of haughtiness 
is on my lips,
a hint of arrogance
is on my hips.

Emerging, evolving, with the strength of the motherland,
I am, long and strong,
lean and proud,
shackle of degradation,
(I’ve been) shaken, but not shattered,
bruised, but not broken,
an’ when you step to me,
step to me real, ‘cause I’m real,
this is my black woman’s manifesto,
though this flesh was bond,
couldn’t steal my soul,
no more chains,
I define who I am.

I drank a glass of tears to quench my thirst.
Last night.

Fairy tales long forgotten,
for the children—our broken promises—
I cry,
tossed to and fro’ in the wind,
no direction, twas the blood 
of our fathers shed in vain?
Black rain, unceasing,
rise up Nubian kings
and queens,
lest rocks shall cry
out in your place,
lift the standards 
for self, the nation, the race. 

Drank tears, yet this thirst was insatiable.
Last night.

They try to emasculate my brothers,
torn asunder, profaned, wickedness, insanity,
by whips of hatred, he’s chastised, 
I testify, he once stood in dignity,
graced boldly in the knowledge,
but things have changed,
perverted and adulteress,
this generation’s become, 
my son, it’s genocide,
drugs, an icy heart, a gun,
defining one’s manhood,
now, another mother mourns;
you are your brother’s keeper;
strong soldiers, black man reborn.

Tears for water.

The spirit of perfect unity,
in harmony, the black family,
all their blood, tears and soul,
true conquerors, sojourners
in this dying world,
gird your breastbone,
civil rights or deceiving eyes,
united they stand strong, 
centered on a love unimaginable,
unadulterated truth to feed your mind,
a lighttower, shining bright,
the essence of power, the example of humility,
the backbone of all creation,
the black family.

My brothers, my chocolate children,
my afflictions, my peace an’
comfort, my uncertainties,
ALL things I lay at the
feet of Jesus.

And I no longer drink tears for water. 

Tears for Water by Marilyn Ferrell

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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