Black Poetry : A Centenarian

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by baller, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Over the weekend, I was in Chicago to celebrate my Aunt's birthday; she turned one hundred on April 4th:
    A Centenarian
    Along sandy gravel and dusty dirt roads,
    I’ve trod
    Highly favored
    And blessed by God
    I’ve been on this journey a hundred years
    Forgotten most of my dreams
    Lost all my fears
    Nolie gave me this life
    Taught me to stand on my own
    I don’t cower in fear
    I was taught to be strong
    The years have given me the seasoning I need
    To walk when I walk
    To bleed when I bleed
    And still be me.
    For one hundred years
    I’ve walked and scratched the black woman’s way
    For 36,525 days
    I’ve done it my way
    As a child, I grew up on the harshness of a farm
    Had the crowing roosters for my “wake up” alarm
    Planted and plowed
    And harvested the fields
    Ten hours a day
    Do you know how that feels
    One hundred years of working and sweating
    Not all the time getting
    The things I be
    Wanting.
    But steadily hoping
    For another day.
    One hundred years…
    I’ve seen jim crow’s tyranny
    Racists and bigots bent on destroying me
    The rise of civil rights
    If not equality
    The volatility of humanity
    And their lack of civility
    (Just keeping it real, you see)
    I moved to Chicago from the heat of the ‘Sip
    Didn’t need no white man giving me lip
    Would have been a crime,
    You see
    One hundred years
    Years of fighting for the freedom to be
    Knowing freedom ain’t free for me
    Still, I’m just trying to be
    My legacy is my children
    My children
    Grandchildren
    Family and friends
    Gotta hold on to God
    Can’t trust the hand of man
    A Centenarian
    That’s who I am
    Happy One Hundredth, Auntee.
     
  2. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That was one of the best poems I've ever read! It's beautiful and I love it!
     
  3. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you for your kind words, MsInterpret. She was a wonderful woman. it's been a long time since we've had a centenarian in the family. she's still mobile...although using a walker. and she still has her mind--her mental faculties. i held a short conversation with her about the old days in mississippi...and she had a good laugh about that.:) it was a wonderful celebration of her life.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  4. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Our centenarian in our family...my great grandfather just passed last year...I wanted to meet him before he went to the next life, but I didn't get the opportunity...So you are very blessed in having that chance to meet and get to know such a beautiful individual.

    Take care.
     
  5. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    You really told her story here, Bro. Baller. Quite an honorarium!

    What a blessing to still have her, indeed.

    The whole is awesome but this following lines struck me the most:

    Years of fighting for the freedom to be
    Knowing freedom ain’t free for me
     
  6. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    they are treasures to talk to, MsInterpret...the experiences they've had, the hell they've been through living the things we argue about, everyday, on this site. she raised five kids, alone. four of those are still alive...and were at the party. she did that before, and during, the civil rights struggles most of us know nothing about. as the son of a share cropper, i had issues with farming from day one of my life...but farming allowed us poor folk to survive...and thrive...and raise up from our humble beginnings. now, we look back on those times with fond memories...and laugh about the things we went through. i'm sorry you missed the opportunity to meet and know your great grandfather. it could have been such a rich experience.

    cherryb...my friend. as always, i thank you for your kind words. we are blessed to have her...and that was very evident at the party. not only through the many stories told about her, and the thanks given, but in the way she was represented by all in attendance. she is my mother's oldest sister...and a wonderful example of who we are.

    again, i thank you both.
     
  7. TotalView

    TotalView Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Poet baller,

    Beautiful! Whenever you write about them, I always fall in love with your family members. Lovely read.

    Respect, Poet.

    (smile)
     
  8. Kadijah

    Kadijah Banned MEMBER

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    I love it! Beautiful and poignantly written. A tale well told. She should be proud you penned it for and about her. Well done. :congrats: :hearts4:
     
  9. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    A Centenarian has fallen.

    Leola Longino
    April 4th, 1913
    May 6th, 2015

    Rest peacefully, Auntee
     
  10. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    My heart condolence unto you and yours brother she haven fallen but risen .
     
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