On 12 Years a Slave

Palms clenched tight nails digging in

Flashes from the past replay over and over again.

Each whip, each and every crack of the whip,

whistles through the air and in my mind

I can still hear it

The cracks of pain

loss

   hopelessness

pain, pain that transcends time as it’s replayed

out on a screen, but it feels so real.

 

Brought back to life ghosts of the past begin to

haunt, a new time and place.

And the sad thing is, it’s not all over.

 

New eras, new pains and the rather

– it’s best left unknowns-

continue to be swept under the metaphorical carpet.

 

Seeing those wounds, raw, no hiding.

 

To know that for many no hope was lost because

there was never any to find

Dreams remained just so… intangible

In my mind, that could have been me there

 

Breaking backs in the scorching heat

getting marked with the tessellations of scars

where the only spirit left in you is a soulful serenade to the rolling wind

imagine if those songs were still carried on that breeze for you to hear now.

 

And you begin to think.

 

Here I am complaining about the ‘mundane’

having to meet deadlines and sit exams

Forgetting

that I have a chance, one they never would’ve imagined.

I can write and create and express myself

whenever I please

I am relatively free

I am not chattel nor a plaything, made to dance

to the whims of the broken and blind.

 

I can create, I have an identity

Choices, simple choices that they didn’t have and

Sadly, that many still don’t have.

 

And reality is sadly put into perspective, because

for those two hours it was raw and stark.

But as the lights go up suddenly,

people slipping on their coats and scarves

as if it’s armour, rushing to get the tube home…

 

The reality is sadly put into perspective

as I sit here crying.

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