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Whose Children Are These?

Whose children are these?
Who do these children belong to?
With no power to watch over,
He looks at them, sleeping,
Exhaustion overwhelming hunger,
Barely protected with burlap from the cold
Cabin, Fear and rage make him tremble
For them; for himself, shame that he can do no more
than die for them,
for no certain purpose. He heard about the woman,
Margaret Garner, in spite of the white folks’ silence.
How she killed two of hers
To keep them from being taken back;
killed herself after the others were taken back
Anyway.  So she saved
Two.  He couldn’t save his Ellen and Henry.
Who do these belong to?
He doesn’t dare kiss them
Now, but he stands dreaming,
Willing these five back
To a place or forward to a time
He can’t remember or imagine.
All he can do is find the place
He knows about. Leave now
Before dawn sets the white fields ragingII
Grandsire, I kissed, blessed, chewed and swallowed your rage
when I stood over the five you sent, warm in their beds,
and forced-fed my stunned dumb soul to believe someone
owned, someone bought, someone sold at will
our children, Grandsire, I held them, I held them
as you could not, and revered that fierce mother
whose courage and whose solution I could not.
But we have not rescued them altogether;
we moved them through one dimension, from one killing
field to another on history’s flat page,
1850s’ slavery to 1980s’ racism and murder.
Baraka has told us “They have made
this star unsafe, and this age, primitive,”
and it is so.  I have stood over each sleeping child
and looked at each child and wanted to know
who decides to break our hearts one by one by one.
The Greeks named it Tyche and made a goddess of chance.
Here they call it this god’s mysterious Will.
I have the children, but we have not saved them
from this primitive star, and I am unable to forgive.


Gerald Barrax

Lets not leave the children (all children) to either chance or the mysterious Will of this primitive star – but have the fierce courage of Margaret Garner and refuse to allow them to be taken back.  For more on Margaret Garner.


About tenthltr2u (1074 Articles)
A child of the 60's I often feel out of place in the world as it exist today. Too much excess, too much materialism, too few people who genuinely care or give a damn. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

3 Comments on Whose Children Are These?

  1. And your interpetation is well founded.  There is and always will be some element of chance but what can we do to reduce the risk of "chance"  ultimately deciding our destiny and he destiny of our children.


  2. Hi, i had to edit myself. Please remove the first post…thanks…..
    Edited version…if errors still exists well blame it on my humanness.

    It is all “OUR” children. We do not have to bare them for them to be ours. The children are part of the community, the village and DNA participation is not a requirement. What is required is social, political, spiritual, educational participation among all of us in a cohesive consciousness. Understanding that the state of one impacts all whether we are privy to or unaware, the impact is dominative. 
    It is important that we also mindful of the impact of the internalizations of the very things we condemn (the isms) and fight against and how that then can inform our behaviour, interactions with each other and alter our perception self and those of others which in turn is regurgitated back into the community that can rupture and divide us among ourselves moving us away from a community base thinking into a individualistic things, the preference of the "I", "Me", "Myself" and “I”. 
    We have become fearful and segregated in our minds and among ourselves so that war being waged is not only against the social, political, governmental systematic discriminative injustices it is also taking place in the psyche. It is a psychological warfare that threatens to blur and erase consciousness making things indistinguishable if we are not cognisant of the importance of our participation in raising “OUR “children.
    There is nothing wrong with looking after self however no one person is an Island. We got to reach out into the community. Every little bit counts. Each one teach one, you’ll be amazed on how that trickles down.
    Peace….that’s my 2 cents worth… promised.


  3. Fabulicious,
    Thanks for your "2 cents worth" and your insight.  Again, we have for so long allowed others not only to define us but to profit from it.  As a result we are exploited on a number of levels with the consequence being the war of the psyche that you so elequently speak of.
    Again, thanks for your comments.


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