by Jerrell Copeland
Poetry, Heard/Arlington County Detention Facility/OAR writing contest, August 2021
As the soul cries
within the eyes
that look through the windowpane
enslaved caged thoughts think freedom really bring better days.
To be the answer or not to be
the easy way distracts one from the question.
Helpless, time comes and tosses
those whom are doomed not to elude the catcher.
Free dumb taught by the Master
sale the Black
you know what comes after.
Father time fatherless to my kind oh what a disaster,
for he runs out not to teach the seconds that passes.
As the clock watches hour tic toc vanish
the minute we find happiness it’s banished.
Behind barbwire fences concrete cinder blocks steal bars
and doors that are locked where our loves eventually love another
brothers forget brothers and the hearts torn,
punish, crushed belong to our dear mothers.
This is Black reality
the dark life savagery
its cold in that hole where we go,
so sad to me.
Our pupils envision this is how it has to be.
23 and 1 hour or Sun do what’s right so you don’t have to live like this please.
I beg you to listen so that you may gain understanding and take heed,
a wiseman had a nightmare revealing a ghost dream.
There was a beast called the system
an vicious organism
that couldn’t exist without cells.
Have you heard of it?
Unmeasurable in size
it resides wherever there’s a mind,
even in front of our own eyes
we see it not trying to hide