What You Owe Me by Monica Leak

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What You Owe Me

Truly this nation remains in debt
Despite approving the funds necessary to address the ceiling
Yes, we the people,
Bound by a noninclusive constitution
With a shortsighted Bills of Rights
Rights that did not apply
Rights for a few but for the once enslaved yet denied
A check was written with the Emancipation
To yield 40 acres and a mule was the expectation
But soon as the the great emancipator by assassin was shot
Gone was the promise as if in writing it was not

400 years for services rendered were not paid
The lynchings, the burnings, the bombings, water hoses, unjust imprisonment
Compensation was never made
For the lives
For the land
For the time
For the separated and broken families
For the displacement
For substandard living conditions
For the separate but never equal
For the lack of and miseducation
Trying day to day to live
Being told to forget and forgive

But what is forgiveness without repentance
Just another delay to deny our humanity and existence
So with a written and spoken apology you feel sufficient to get by
To erase our presence from U.S. History curriculum you vehemently justify
Departments of diversity, equity and inclusion are steadily across academic systems are being dismantled
Something about it further promoting division
We continue to advocate and do the justice work despite their lies and misinformation
Quick to say to cry against CRT
When a book or class they’ve never read or did see

More than a forced apology
More than a national holiday
Reparations long overdue
And even with various committees and considerations
Don’t hold your breath hoping a vote will put it through
But from what we have seen your credit is no good
Any check you’d even write would bounce because of insufficient funds
Just don’t deny the debt you owe
It’s been reported to all necessary agencies
Interest is compounded daily
And we’ll yet cry out for what is owed until every penny and dime is paid

With a B.S. from Appalachian State in Communication Disorders, M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from South Carolina State University, Master’s of Library Science from North Carolina Central University and Master’s of Divinity from John Leland Center for Theological Studies, Monica Leak uses the power of information to reach others through creative content. Monica’s works include contributions to the following: Faith of our Founders 100 Daily Devotionals to Inspire, Encourage and Propel the Finer Woman, Purpose Pushers: The Journey of Discovering and Walking in Your Life’s Purpose, Pretty, Paid, and Powerful:40 Days to Empowering the Woman Within, Speak Up We Deserve to be Hard: Stories of Being Black in America, Call to Intercede Vol. 1 (January 2022) and Sacred Sistering: A Devotional for Women of Color Ministry Leaders (March 2022); lenten devotionals: The Road to Calvary Surviving a Season of Suffering and Resipiscence, A Lenten Devotional for Dismantling White Supremacy (2018, 2019, 2020 editions) and Journey to Easter. She published her first poetry collection, No More Hashtags Remembrance and Reflections in 2018, No More Hashtags:Who You Calling? in 2019 and For Her Name’s Sake in 2021. Her work appeared in the Maryland Bards Poetry Review 2020. You can learn more about Monica by following @MLeakPoetry on all social media platforms (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube).

Image: Public Domain

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