Paying Homage (Poem)

PAYING HOMAGE

Scraping
Digging for the crumbs in order to piece
—together
Something
Anything
Just get it done
That’s the mission
Stamp your name on it
Make it your brand
You gotta make a name for yourself
Don’t you want to be the one
Who everyone’s talking about?
That’s the motive

As I watched a special the other day
On my favorite poet
And the woman whose art inspired me
I began to dream a dream
Of recognition and fame
I neglected to hear the pains she went
—through
The hard work it took her to get there
But I dream a dream of hope that day
I’ll be the next her
I’d be the next name in history
And possibly even go on
To do even more incredible and historic
—things

But somehow
I can’t even seem to get this poem right
Even while I write it
And somehow
I forgot
That having my name in the Lamb’s Book
Is more important
Than whether or not I’ll be remembered
Later in life

Chances are
They’ll all forget
Just the same
Just like I forgot
All those other names

That’s the thing about history
We only know about the few who made
Monumental contributions
Did monumental things
And it makes us feel
As though the little bit we do
Isn’t worth anything

At that same moment in time
As I pondered over frivolous dreams
I began to ask myself
About all the Black people
Who have ever lived and breathed in
—time
I wondered
How many of their stories went
Unwritten?
How many of them did things
That were pivotal
But didn’t even receive an honorable
—mention?
Does it no longer matter?
Do they not exist
If a historian didn’t acknowledge
What all they did,
Whether it be little or gigantic?

Jesus Christ
The Ultimate Record Keeper Supreme
Ruler over everything
He has not forgotten
He does not forget
He watches and He knows
What all a person has done
He knows this

I heard Him ask me this morning,
“Isn’t your name showing up
In My Book,
More important
Than being a temporary name
In time?
You are making history,
But what good does it do you
To do all these things in My name
And still go to hell anyway
Because you lived to die
But didn’t die to live?”

Are you living to die
Or dying to live…?
What are legends, anyway?

But what a shame
What a pity it would be
To not consider every person
Who has ever come before me
The same people
Who are the very reason
For why I am able to do what I do
Live how I live
And have helped to influence
These things I write

Lord I thank You
For reminding me of what’s important

Time to pick up the plow
Like every African American before me
—did
Time to pick up the plow
Toil the ground
There’s not time to be afraid
Of getting sweat on your brow
Time to get to work
Put your back into it now

With the help of Christ
They’ve paved a way for me
This far
I can’t afford to let them down
I can’t afford to let Him down

Not right now, no
Not now

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One thought on “Paying Homage (Poem)

  1. Pingback: (Feb. 24) Vol. 7, No. 6 – shnewsletter

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