Profile of an Ex-Slave – Original Poetry

yesterday I saw the profile of a woman
a black woman
a BEAUTIFUL black woman
as we all are
and her gentle face told the history of a people

she has a small, dark face
full of wrinkles
full of beautiful wrinkles
telling everyone
how she survived the torment of slavery
how she cultivated her own land
how she carried her great-grandchildren on her back
in the hot Georgian sun
how she fought to keep hold of her land
so her descendants would always have a piece of the south
how she had lived to be 99 years old

yesterday I saw the profile of a woman
a photograph of an old black woman
a beautiful black woman
who carried my father on her back
who wore the scars of slavery
who was born into slavery and died on her own free soil
a woman
who lived to be 99 years old

and I never knew the value of
that red Georgian soil
until I saw the gently wrinkled face
of my great-great grandmother
who shaped my future
in the palm of her hands

Originally written: 11/14/84


2 thoughts on “Profile of an Ex-Slave – Original Poetry

Add yours

  1. Dear Tonita,
    EMaHo! Your page is beautiful, and I want to congratulate you for this beautiful birth of your soul. The choice of writing, so heart felt, so loving, encouraging others to honor those who came before us. The strengh of the picture, telling a story, a story long gone, awaiting, in timeless awaiting to be heard thru a universal tong. The moment arrived for connecting the now, transforming the cries and the pain into songs from beyond, a necklace of pearls made of wisdom and strengh has been given for healing your soul. Rejoice for our Mothers, and the fruits of their lineage, for they will go on within you, and as you grow old, their stories of strengh will be told thru your smile, and each wrinkle, your charater, respect and self love.

    1. Thank you Virginia! Your gift to me from the magical isla de Puerto Rico has allowed me to open my heart chakra and release the love and passion that was drowning within. I can’t wait to see you. Welcome back to los estados unidos!

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