Boat of Horror

I hear the moans and cries of my neighbor next to me
Tied down on this boat of death
Where are we going? Taken against our will
Towards a place of unspeakable cruelty
Our families, our homes, our lives taken away from us: Why?

We Lie in filth and sicknesses,
tied in chains in the bottom of a boat,
Little food, rats, feces, and filth; Slaves to these people,

We sing our hymns; Quietly at first
Then it passes along to our brothers down the rows
And suddenly we are all one from many different tribes
We are all brothers in our singing
Until they tell us to “Shut up”:
The ones who don’t are punished,
They take away all that we have;Even the one thing we all have in common: Our hymns
Why? Why do we endure such torture; For doing nothing?

They call us savages; These people with light skin
Who are they to bind us Innocent;
Babies taken away from the mothers

And will we ever see our families again?
No, no they say no;
They say we are their property now.
But we are human too! We are human too!
And they call us savage; Who beat the women and children
For not working hard enough in the sweltering heat
But who is savage?

They say we are stupid and
Do not allow us to learn, but we do anyway.
They take our names and give us new ones.
They take our religion and give us a new one.
But we still worship Our way.

We yearn for our home,
our children’s children will do the same.
But we pray that one day they can
go home again or at least be able to stand on both our feet

Todays best new poem was written by Rochelle Jackson.


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2 thoughts on “Boat of Horror

  1. A wonderful poem …. a place we all need to try to go to understand the depth of depravity humans have endured under our own hands and the hope we have tried to hold.

    • I wrote this poem as a reflection on Black History. I am not Black, but I wanted to try to make the reader feel as though they are in this person’s shoes, as though it is happening now. When I was in the seventh grade my civics teacher had us reenact how slaves were brought to America during the Slave Trade in slave ships. Something about physically doing getting on the floor and trying to reenact it has always stayed with me. Ever since then I try to apply the “step into another’s shoes” rule in my job and at school in my papers and discussions etc…

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