Poem: Brother Denmark

(about Denmark Vesey)

the history books tell us
that you won your freedom
when you won the lottery,
but freedom isn’t something you win –
freedom is a birthright.

freedom is as seamless as your name,
even when it was changed by a captain
who claimed to control the sea.

But God is the only one in control.
It was God who put dreams
in your head as you lay
in slumber as a servant,
bound by chains
and bound by the definition of faith:
“a strong or unshakeable belief
in something.”

Be the traveler who discovered strength
in the uncertainty of the ocean.
Be the carpenter who laid the foundation
for rebellion.
Be the revolutionary who pushed
for resistance,
Be the change you wish to see
in the world.

a statue of you stands strong against the
backdrop of a perfect painting –
The Lowcountry,
who wiped off the dust of your death
in its vanity
while living in the shadows of slavery.

you are the brother for dreamers
who have heard the harsh alarm clock of reality
ringing in our ears and waking us up
to the importance of history.

I stand before you now
as a witness to your story.
my home is an echo away from plantations,
silently standing on
your foundation.

(video features artwork by Jahsun of faristudios)