blue rose with thorns By Jacquese Armstrong

blue rose with thorns

and resilience
brought me forth
among cotton pickers
juke joint regulars’ mason jars
full of hooch
saturday night brawls
and Sunday best pressed
seeking redemption of the soul

among the yahsuhs
and nawsuhs
and “crazy niggers”
who dared to
color in between the lines

among hearts
broken and pasted together
with sweat/dirt tears
that transformed them whole
through a family Love

among the educated
and subdued into
living in fear of shadow

among artists
who dared to voice
among artists
who dared to play
among artists
sewing intricate
blood-stained blossomed tapestry of life
and chemists
baking cakes//

among swinging tree
festival sites
of “pick-a-nigger” injustices
by hungry hordes of animated
circus clowns
(and we dare remember the names/lives
of strange fruit with bowed head tears)

amidst the hurting
and the loving
and the leaving

amidst the birth and death
and diaper changing
taking in others wash
to feed hungry mouths
and all the other
that makes a life//

i came forth.

i am jazz.

By Jacquese Armstrong


Jacquese Armstrong is a writer/poet residing in Central New Jersey. Her chapbook, dance of the shadows, is to be released in June. Her work has been previously published in GFT Presents: One in Four, For Harriet and Black Magnolias Literary Journal among others.

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