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This is a Metaphor--A Juneteenth Poem

It's a celebration! There's even a GMA special,

A national holiday! But what of my rights--To vote? To learn history? To not be lynched?

Parting gifts are usually given to someone who is leaving;

Where would I go? Can I buy my own parcel and acres in Georgia?

Juneteenth, or June Nineteenth; a familiar holiday in the South

Or a book written by Ralph Ellison, author of the Invisible Man

We get an extra day off from work;

In observance of all of these institutions and corporations

that say they are committed to antiracism;

and add antiracism trainings,

Yet struggle to recruit Black or Brown senior leadership;

Have a history of retaliating against employees who speak up

present no real plan for addressing these issues

other than a black square, rainbow colors, green money,

We get the day as a gift; for all the lives lost

from COVID, Tulsa, Rosewood, Chicago, Charleston

Hard to social distance if we're the ones who toil; work; cook; clean

live in multigenerational homes, work in packing warehouses

Hey, let's find a cookout to eat, dance, sing away sorrows with Al Green;

Play spades, dominoes or economic war games

To entertain ourselves; to maybe live another day;

While others scramble to colonize Mars;

Knowing time is up for Mother Earth

Hard to run if you are Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, or

Or....maybe it's time out for symbolism and metaphors.

Maybe it's time..

--M. Cowherd

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