Mother of Exiles — By Tava Miller

On May 20, several poets shared poems in resonance with the 1962 Brown Vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that ended school segregation as part of the Voices of Freedom festival held in downtown Topeka. Here is a poem delivered and written by Tava Miller.

Just the other day I stood frozen

As I watched children being separated from their mother

As I watched  this family weep for one another, I began to wonder

If I weep with them, would I be next?

Should I hold my tongue’s dialect and pray that my silence grants me Asylum in a country that already treats me like I don’t belong here?

I too, belong here.

Dear Mr Trump,

How dare you tear families apart and call it security!?

I’m more afraid of the obscurity of hatred you express in 140 characters or less

Than skin sun-kissed like sand

Beautiful, but banned

The irony…

Brown skin synonymous with bombs

But when have wars ever began with anything other than white privilege?

It’s sickening how your so-called “agenda” means suffering for all of us

Maybe it’s because this was never your land to begin with

And everybody knows old habits die slow

Do you even know what a good night’s rest feels like anymore?

I mean you must be haunted by the ghosts of all the bodies whose blood you now carry on your hands

Broken bones are buried in your back yard

And white supremacy alive and well

This is not the story I plan to tell my grandchildren one day

Instead I want to say that I spoke louder than I ever had before when a nation tried to silence me while sending families back to war zones

I will teach them that their own brown skin embodied voices are beautiful

And that whenever the discussion of humanity arises

They can hold their head up high because they too have every right to sing along to the song we call America.

~ Tava Miller

Tava Miller writes, “I was raised in Topeka KS. I have performed my poetry in cities across the nation. Always had a love for words. My work mostly focuses on social justices and adversity. I hope that my work inspires others to find the courage to use their own voices.”

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