Sunday Stew: Sequoia

by Reagan Jackson 

We are the seeds born of fire.
Cracked whips and flesh broken open
Transcontinental trail of tears
Sweat and blood
And inconceivable fear
Stolen, shackled
And for those who survived
Sold and branded like cattle.
Our ancestor planted this land
Then were planted in this land
And we are the ones left to stand.
I am made of broken dreams
Salt resin and steady steps
I am prayers of freedom
Hidden behind gritted teeth
Christmas tucked beneath floorboards
And stitched to the inside of mattresses
My spine a lightning rod
My hands calloused but open
Because clenched fists do no building
My heart raging but open
Because closed wounds do no healing
My eyes are eagles
In skyward flight
We are the seeds born of fire
The trees that stand eternally 
Resilience personified
Persistence unquantifiable
Like counting stars 
In a sea of sky
I dare you to predict my demise
Kill me and like a roaring phoenix
I will rise
To survive and thrive.


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