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Living on Titanic Land

I’m the son of a slave,
living in ancient Greece of modern day
I was born in a city-state:
Detroit, South Carolina
Iron oar delivery
through the transactional Middle Passage way

That’s how I came to be
living on Titanic land

Daddy said we were shipwrecked,
but then got skin deed rescued by a perpetuity chain
Calloused soles planted in a cotton field,
making gin rummy money from the finest sugar cane
Leather tip misery
whip lazy bones attitude into beast of burden shape

That’s how I came to be
working on Titanic land

Mama said we were given no rest,
each generation more labor weary than the last
Sold at the auction block — 
families torn apart, heritage erased iceberg fast
Melted hope ... weep wavy,
sunken freedom   ~   Death was the only sure escape

That’s how I came to be
buried alive on Titanic land

Told my daughter to tell her yet-to-be born child,
that we were idolatry bound, cast away into a sea of pain
When that ghost ship came to a Titanic halt;
profit wails heard from ashore, cries of a Devil’s bargain
No fetter mystery — 
in the land of inequality, democracy is our new captivity

That’s how we came to be
covered by Teutonic sand on Titanic land

Copyright © Freddie Robinson Jr.