January 24, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Victoria Pickering photo



Shirley Jones-Luke




Hereditary Trauma



Beyond the bones, beyond the marrow

is a history of hurt wrapped in the bodies

of ancestors who did not ask for this pain


It was brought upon them – whip, lash, chain

striking muscle, sinew and tissue in a repeated

fashion – again and again and again


It seemed without end – this orchestra of

abuse, degradation and humiliation, this wasn’t

humanity, but a debased monstrosity


Masqueraded as a just cause to save

black and brown bodies considered

savages when the actual barbarians


Brought diseases, guns and their version

of god, claiming all other gods were wrong,

immoral and a sin, the gods of our ancestors


were not a part of the Invader’s plans, conquest was

in their hearts, the riches of the continent

was on their minds, violence was their goal


Centuries of brutality, centuries of lies

centuries of imprisonment which did not

end in 1865, but continues today as


We march with hands up, scarred,

cracked and bleeding from fighting

for our right to exist, our right


To resist what this society expects

of us, from us, without exception, for

their god we distrust





Your Reality is Not for Me



I reject the micro aggressions towards my skin tone,

I reject the lustful eyes scanning of my body

I reject the poverty in this world, so much wealth, the hungry faces

of children, feed them, I reject the abuse of power, I reject the rich,

I reject leaders who ignore the plight of their people, I reject

lavish overspending and wasteful habits, I reject farmers

struggling without help, I reject sexual innuendo, assault and lingo,

I reject men who look at women as objects, I reject women who

only want to be seen as objects, I reject an educational system that is inequitable

I reject schools who overly punish children of color, I reject parents who

will not teach their children right from wrong, I reject children who know

better but still choose the wrong path, I reject a society that places us in

constant competition, I reject competing with others,

I want us all to succeed, I reject those who gloat, I reject those who

do anything to get to the top at the expense of others,

I reject rejection, somewhere

I will be accepted,

somewhere my words matter






Shirley Jones-Luke

Shirley Jones-Luke is a poet and a writer. Ms. Luke lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. She has an MFA from Emerson College. Her work has been published in journals and magazines. Shirley is working on a poetry manuscript.

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