We Know We Grow

21558881_10154758364906366_1935908514288023906_n-1By Victoria Marie

Bruised, abused
living in unloving soil
hold tight, take flight
escape from this crippling coil
wild youth, forsooth,
kept finding myself in hostile places
despairing, heart tearing,
will I ever find welcoming spaces
Black skin is sin,
is what they want me to feel
Yet I know as I grow,
such thinking cannot be real
As I age, channel my rage
into fighting fallacious surety
To fight for what’s right,
travelling the road to maturity
To preach hate speech
against those you think defenceless
Is the sin, not our skin,
showing your words false and senseless
Begin to see a glimmer in me
of all that I have for giving
Black skin, not sin
but an ebony love-filled living
I’m one plot, on one spot
on soil fed by gladness and woe
Part in a field in which I’m sealed
surrounded by others who know
We’ve learned, discerned
love cannot thrive alone
When dismayed we prayed
for hearts made of flesh, not stone
Black skin, like within
black souls precious wisdom pearls
Look, you’ll see Black’s folks mystery
is to show how true love unfurls
in spite of our plight
We manage to live, to survive
Love, resistance, persistence
tools people of colour use to thrive
We ignore the deep sore
dealt by a hateful sister or brother
We grow we know
with compassionate for all and each other
Yes, we know and we grow
with compassionate for all and each other.

  Victoria Marie was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and came to Canada in 1965 at age 20. She is a founding member of the Vancouver Catholic Worker, a member of the Roman Catholic Woman Priest movement and pastor of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community (OLGT) in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia.

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