The umbilical cord
Once cut
From the navel
Till it dries into
Forgotten anatomy
Unless you were born
Into a label
The Umbilical Cord then
Bleeds and never leaves as
It ties you to your mother,
her mother, your foremothers
and stretches to reveal
the outlines of pain
engraved on your backs and
the blood on your bones
So when other mothers feed
their unborn what they need,
the Othered Mothers seek
inherited deeds to teach their child
the skill of unravelling Umbilical Cords
morphed into nooses
that kill you by the inch.

The child,
born as a footnote to a
history of oppression that spills,
unchecked, into the present,
isn’t afforded the privilege of forgetting
his roots unless he demands
a hand to escape his pre-dug grave,
an opportunity to become human again;
Then it’s his duty to discount the rusty chains
shackled to his ankles,
to ignore the dusty cords that hang
his shadows every day
With rage and centuries of hate
‘It’s no great news’ they say,
Till the day,
forced to accept the noose
wound around his neck,
constricting each breath,
choking lungs labeled by ancient men,
the one born in the margins
turns a headline in death.