#youwillnotkillmetoday (NPM2017 20)



death will come
on the day it wants
dressed as it pleases
at the time he chooses
death will come
of that there is little doubt
how it will be received
is the matter here
with ignorance
because you hate me
because of my melanin
because I long to be free
because I demand equality
there are traps by my
front door
armed guards at the
back of my mind
least you try to
slip in with me
unaware today
is not your day
if old age comes
soft to drape me
in forever I will
graciously away
but today is not that day
miles to travel
more forward to draw
from the mud
more errands for my ancestors
more clever cartography
more dancing tomorrow
from fractured todays’
and hard lived yesterdays
I have grown tough skin
over my hope
I water it with pragmatism
I am vigilant and will
not be set upon unaware
I anticipate you in my dreams
and have drawn a circle in
salt around your intentions
wrapped a prayer in white
cloth delivered it to a tree
that knows your name
I have talked to the dust
& the wind about you
and they whisper my name
before yours as life naturally
proceeds death
I am the promise risen
from the ocean
I am what grows outside
the fences you build
the rising whine at
the back of your worried
fretful mind (yes
the other shoe will drop)
bells are for tolling
as each dog has a sun
rise suns set on all houses
this is not your day
today I walk upright unafraid
continuing to dance on oppression
drumming for justice
walking against the wind
up every hill since  the good ship jesus & plymouth rock
I am the sword and the stone
carrying darkness like a banner inviting creation

I am

my machetes are sharp

my powder is dry

I have left yucca for

the left-handed child

iron in my

right pocket honey

in my hand


I have banished you from

the land of my dreams

I want not I suffer not

I am the living circle



image: by Jimmy Nelson