couldn’t make that

selfish woman of mine happy


she couldn’t understand it was enough 

one of us was free

man suppose to be free 

it does something for the way he walk




no woman worth tears

no black slave woman worth the price of a man’s salt


I couldn’t keep harriet 

shoulda split her foot with that ax


holding her in the night with my

black man hands

worn palms reddened and blistered 

from striking that ole ax day after day

didn’t count for naught


seem like them trees taking out their anger on me too

seem like they fighting against me siding with harriet

seem like they won’t die right

they refuse to be separated     them trees

I agitate them and they whisper to the others

get tough on john

make him work harder 

than he suppose to

got to keep the family alive

got to remember the strongest part is buried 

way out of reach of john’s wicked ax