A FEATURED WORK
This writing is an excerpt from my original poem, “African America” which can be found in my book “Life Lines”. Preview additional writing selections at: Equinox, Work Wonders and Life Lines
“African America” – A Collaboration
Image and Layout by: Maria H. Perry – USA
Poem by Leon A. Walker – Florida – USA
Thank you Maria for your cooperation in agreeing to work with me on this project. I am so grateful for the use of this wonderful image and for your fabulous layout of this artwork. *Helen Bascom is a friend and a committed social activist. She is also a wonderfully talented photographer.
I was thinking that I would be hearing from you…
You’re looking for something exciting to do?
Come visit me in African America!
Oh, ignore what you’ve heard or any media hysteria-
I showed up here and I stayed a while.
And well yes, it sometimes cramps my style.
I’m warning you though, this place is something to see…
But you’ll be safe if you’re with me.
Yes our borders are all secure-
What in the world would be the lure?
We have no wars abroad to fight.
We die on the streets right here at night.
Sure, many of us know great success.
Still they’re also viewed subtly as something less.
I’m told there’s economic clout.
Though haplessly it gets strewn about.
We have a storied history.
But all of that’s lost on many like me.
We got shut out of that other place…
Some say it had to do with race.
The other place has problems too-
I’d like to talk about that with you…
The cost of war, death, loss of rights-
How in the hell do you sleep at night?
Well I really can’t say I feel sorry for you.
You know we have to deal with all of those things too.
We struggle each day to survive anymore.
By the way, who looks out for your country’s poor?
Sometimes I just get so confused…
Anyway, come visit. What have you got to lose?
You’re poor, you’ll fit in so comfortably.
My friend, you’ve become so much like me.
I look nothing like you in any visible way-
But we’re stamped with the same class DNA.
I can’t blame or ask anything of you-
It’s obvious now, you’ve been shut out too…
So once you arrive, you might want to, well… stay.
And in that case there’s something I know I should say.
Go ahead, think it over before you decide.
Cause when the bottom drops out you’ll have nowhere to hide.
Come visit me in African America…
© Leon A. Walker