Can't Follow the Drinking Gourd Anymore (1st Draft)

Can't Follow the Drinking Gourd Anymore (1st Draft)

A Poem by Arly Parent

We had stars once
glittering, sparkling, shiny things that hung hopeful in the sky.

We had stars once.
You could follow two,
drink from a drinking gourd, 
and find a road to better.

They used to be right...there
but the lights blot them out now
City Lights
Flashing Lights
Glowing bars---pyramidal---that mark our "Progress"

They're not needed anymore, they say.
You got where you needed to get going.
And there's nowhere left to lead you but out to sea.
You got where you needed to get going---
to a land of blind people.
Those who can't see color...
or the twinkling of the stars that led you there
or the dusty rust red trail you walked on
or the people in their midst who only pretend they don't.

I don't know where to tell you to look, son---
where to point your compass when I'm gone...
because the night skies are too full of harsh light
not star-light
and there's not much space for your darkness.

You'll never even hear their twinkle over the keening of mothers for their children, gunshots, sirens, and the tap-tap-tap of keyboards ready to libel you.
Starlight won't banish the ghost of ghosts, 
the spectres of flames, 
or the whispered remnant of the shout that the South will rise again.

Where will you go, my son?
I do not know...
but it won't be lit so easily.
There won't be dogs or ropes or hoses that trip you up.
The pits are harder to see.

We had stars once...
and a place to be
with a path a good bit easier to see
but the destination's never what you think****
and the world doesn't change for free****
You have it better****
but not more easily****

© 2014 Arly Parent

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Added on December 10, 2014
Last Updated on December 10, 2014
Tags: Progress, African, American, Tamir, Rice, 21st Century, Violence, Race, Racism, Ignorance, Death


Arly Parent
Arly Parent

Lantana, FL

There's nothing about me. I play with pauses as well as silence. I write words, assign meanings and junk, and play with a language that might be as much my own as another. I don't know. more..