They Name Not Trauma by Robert Zackary

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These poems are part of a special section of the Mid-Atlantic Review, Celebrating Black History, and selected by editors Khadijah Ali-Coleman, Carolivia Herron, and Rebecca Bishophall. To learn more about this series read a blog post on the Day Eight website here.
 

They Name Not Trauma

I remember Black Women of yesterday years

How they cherished honored life
lived breathed life stories with unnamed trauma
Their Story not of the trauma.
Yet their first foot was to exemplify and expound
the greatness on how good God had been

they would rise in church
Some in the PTA meeting
Or in the midst on streets downtown
their first words were
“I don’t have a hard luck story to tell, even though
I did not come through flowery beds of Ease
but all in all God’s been good to me”
Their story was not of the trauma
Their theme story was not trauma

With renown sophistication, pride, dignity
on the second leg of their expounding story;
they tell/told of how it may have gotten hard sometimes
How they LIVED with meager means
but God made a Way out of no Way,
their story was absent of the trauma
No sing-song of downcast delusions
on this eluding journey

This be how it got read into me
my mother being the one
who had founded the story Same
After she blessed all of her children by name
each one standing at Her bedside,
She blessed her children’s children by name
She then came back to the grandchildren/great grands
of those who were standing by the bedside

As For me, Mother blessed my oldest son and his wife
the children who will come from Her womb.
Then she blessed my youngest unmarried son
Yet went on to say; ‘May the womb be blessed
Of whomever he chooses in marriage
Mama’s Story was without trauma
But yet of praise-Thanksgiving
even at a time of parting going Home
For they refused to give way to trauma
Instead an Amen giving of Thanks

Upon the last words of my mother;
after finishing the blessing and agreeing to wait
for my sister in flight from before Going On
Blessing her last upon her coming forth
The same ritual upon her family and children
She sang forth her last lyrical life song:
“I am thankful to God Almighty
that all of my children know God
and are safe in His Arms
now I’m ready to go home.
I then said; “Mama you going home
The doctor said in a few days”
she sounded forth most bliskely;
“I am not talking about that home
Your Daddy built for us in 1939
I’m talking about home with Christ Jesus
Whom I now See”

Come the closing moments
like our Dad ten years hence
Mom Raised her hand for the last goodbye
Carrying her works of life before her
Leaving to us All the many Her life’s legacy
In order we might move forth Victors and Overcomers

They, these mighty Ones
left off the trauma syndrome
They knew not a trauma definition
Their Story not of Trauma

R. Zack Zachary is an inspirational Poet, Storyteller and Visionary. Zack became an activist at age eleven and later met Dr. Martin L. King in his hometown, Anniston, Alabama. From that renown experence, he has continued throughout the years to follow a path of Activism through Poetry/Storytelling. He began writing poetry in the U. S.Army 1971-74. He created and founded The Healing Love Institute and Dialogue Cafe. He is the author of two books of poems: “21 Love Poems” and ‘Behold America, BeWHole’. Zack’s latest book; Forgotten Stories Remembered is due out May-June 2024 by Newman Springs.

Featured image in this post is: “Family Portrait” by Eric Ward, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Editor
Editorhttp://www.dayeight.org
Bourgeon’s mission, through our online publication and community initiatives, is twofold: to increase participation in the arts and to improve access to the arts. Bourgeon is a project of the not-for-profit Day Eight.
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